Catherine Brooks

Interim Dean, College of Information Science

Dr. Catherine Brooks is the Interim Dean of the School of Information at the University of Arizona. In her role, Dr. Brooks’ primary focus is bringing information scientists (e.g., librarians, data scientists, game developers, information managers, ethicists) from across academic fields and applied sectors together in order that they function as a ‘faculty of one’ without separate academic departments. In this role, Dr. Brooks also represents Arizona’s iSchool in the iSchools consortium, a worldwide association of Information Schools.

With a background in Communication Studies and Education, Dr. Brooks is a scholar who focuses on inclusive communication, curricular design, innovative instruction, and social behavior in an increasingly digital world. She has multiple research articles on these topics, while she has also contributed to wider global debates as a public intellectual. Some of her more public pieces have appeared in highly circulated outlets, such as Wired Magazine and Scientific American, while also contributing to global conversations in interviews with outlets, such as The Guardian. Prior to serving as Interim Dean, Dr. Brooks served as Director of the iSchool, founded its Center for Digital Society and Data Studies, and has been heavily involved in developing its curricular programs and research infrastructure. Prior to joining the faculty here in Arizona, Dr. Brooks was a tenure-track faculty member at California State University, Long Beach in its Department of Communication Studies, serving for a short time as Associate Chair.
In her role as Interim Dean of Arizona’s iSchool, Dr. Brooks is leading a rapidly growing academic unit and providing an important intellectual nodal point for UArizona’s growing commitment to research and teaching on our highly complex information society. She helps guide the iSchool’s globally-recognized Knowledge River (KR) initiative, which has earned recognition for preparing librarians and other information specialists to address the information needs of underrepresented populations. Even as the iSchool develops cutting-edge research and academic programs that tackle some of the world’s most wicked problems, such as living in a world with AI, Dr. Brooks continues to also ground the iSchool in its core values by developing programs that increase inclusivity and break down barriers for diverse learners who want to make important contributions to our digital futures. 
Dr. Brooks earned the M.A. in Communication Studies from California State University, Long Beach. She then maintained her focus on online communication, digital instruction, and curriculum as she earned her Ph.D. in Education, from the University of California, Riverside.