Matt Huenerfauth named Dean of Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences

Matt Huenerfauth has been named Dean of the Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences at Rochester Institute of Technology.

Huenerfauth, an IT accessibility expert and president of RIT’s information school (iSchool) for two years, was chosen after an international search. He takes office on July 1.

“Matt stood out among a very strong pool of applicants because of his significant leadership experience – both at RIT and other institutions – and his insights into improving college student success and expanding the research portfolio,” said Ellen Granberg, RIT provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. “He is someone who understands both how to establish a vision for the college and, in turn, how to execute that vision and bring it to fruition.”

Huenerfauth joined RIT in 2014, after serving as Associate Dean of the Division of Mathematics and Natural Sciences at Queens College at the City University of New York (CUNY). At RIT, he established the Center for Accessibility and Inclusion Research (CAIR), where he and a team of students and researchers study technologies to make technology accessible to all users, including people deaf or hard of hearing, people who are blind or have low vision, and the elderly.

Throughout her career, Huenerfauth has secured over $5.25 million in research funding, including a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation. His research investigates how artificial intelligence technology can benefit people who are deaf or hard of hearing and people with low written language literacy. He works with a team of more than 30 bilingual teachers-researchers and students in English and American Sign Language.

“As one of the largest computer and information science colleges in the world, GCCIS is uniquely positioned to educate and inspire the next generation of IT industry leaders,” said Huenerfauth. “I am grateful for the efforts of our faculty and staff across the college, and look forward to supporting them in preparing our students for great careers and opportunities.”

Huenerfauth is the author of over 120 peer-reviewed articles, chapters and scientific papers. In 2017, the Association for Computing Machinery recognized him as a Distinguished Fellow of ACM for his contributions to the field of computing. At the ACM SIGACCESS conference on computers and accessibility, the largest international scientific event in the field, Huenerfauth won the best paper award five times, more than anyone in the history of the conference. He was also editor-in-chief of the journal ACM Transactions on Accessible Computing (ACCESS).

In 2018, he received RIT’s Trustees Scholarship Award, the university’s highest honor for faculty in recognition of research achievement.

“As someone drawn to computing by the powerful way technology can benefit people and remove barriers, I know how important it is to share with students how computing can meet scientific, economic and social,” Huenerfauth said. “While some students are drawn to computing by their interest in technology, many talented students never consider a career in computing because they don’t see themselves as a ‘computer scientist’ or don’t see people like them represented in the field.. I am excited about the college’s trajectory and our potential for future growth in student and faculty diversity.

Huenerfauth obtained his doctorate. in Computer and Information Science from the University of Pennsylvania in 2006. He lives with his husband in Brighton, NY

Huenerfauth succeeds Anne Haake.

Sherry J. Basler