University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee



Establishment of the William W. & Judith A. Gaunt Professor marks a milestone for USF Sarasota-Manatee and USF School of Information

By Marc R. Masferrer, University Communications and Marketing and Michelle Holden, College of Arts and Sciences

The University of South Florida recently announced the William W. & Judith A. Gaunt Professor in Library and Information Science, a position on the Sarasota-Manatee campus, will be conferred to James E. Andrews, a tenured full professor in the School of Information. The endowed professorship, the first for the School of Information, will establish the school’s presence at USF Sarasota-Manatee.

James E. Andrews

James E. Andrews

As a native of the Sarasota-Bradenton area, Andrews has a cultural understanding of the region and is deeply familiar with the region’s museums, libraries and health science resources.

Andrews, a former director of the School of Information for 12 years, has a nationally visible program of scholarship and recognition in the field of health informatics, which will amplify the professorship’s value to the campus. With his extensive experience mentoring junior scholars, writing grant proposals and leading research teams, Andrews is poised to honor the donor’s gift by reinvesting in region-specific library and information science research and engagement.

“This is the first endowed professorship in our school, and one of the few endowed positions in LIS programs nationally. Given this, it is a great honor for me to be the inaugural William and Judith Gaunt Endowed Professor in Library and Information Science, through USF Sarasota-Manatee,” Andrews said. “I grew up in Bradenton and have family and other personal ties to the community. I am moved by the generosity of the donors to create this position and their commitment to the discipline and the USF LIS graduate program.”

The endowed professorship was made possible by a generous gift from the Gaunt family. Judith Gaunt of Bradenton assumed the presidency of Gaunt, Inc., a law book publishing company in Holmes Beach, in 2018 before her passing that same year. The legacy gift was pledged in 2010.

“We are thrilled to welcome a scholar with Dr. Andrews’s experience and reputation to our campus,” said Sarasota-Manatee Campus Regional Chancellor Karen Holbrook. “Thanks to the generosity of Judith Gaunt and her family, the School of Information will for the first time have an academic and research presence on the Sarasota-Manatee campus, further expanding what we can offer to our students and to our community.”

Randy Borum, director of the School of Information, said Andrews will extend the reach of programs already at USF Sarasota-Manatee.

“With USF Sarasota-Manatee’s expanding focus on education for allied health professions, the timing of his appointment could not be better,” he said. “Under collaborative leadership from Dr. Andrews and Dr. Christina Eldredge, the School of Information has recently developed an interdisciplinary undergraduate minor in health informatics and formed a strong student community that will shape the future of health information.”

Andrews said his appointment is “a manifestation of the spirit of One USF.”

“A goal of mine is to use the position to continue building a stronger School of Information presence at USF Sarasota-Manatee,” he said. “Our school has served many students from this region in all our programs, and this endowed professorship allows me to develop more direct interactions with our colleagues and students there, as well as potential partners in the Sarasota-Manatee area.”

Andrews said there is a range of resources and organizations across the region that fit well with his research in health information science and informatics, including libraries, cultural resources and other information agencies.

“Using this position to reach out to potential collaborators will impact community engagement and research, and give students opportunities and experiences supporting professional growth, such as expanding practicum opportunities or working with faculty on research projects,” he said. 

Return to article listing

Explore More Categories

About Sarasota-Manatee Campus News

Campus News, Research, Events, and Student Life from around the Sarasota-Manatee campus.