Sociology Professor Robert Hanneman Steps Down as Associate Dean for Research and Instructional Technology

By Stephanie Wejbe, Student Intern of CHASS College Computing

Robert HannemanSociology’s Robert Hanneman has decided after over two academic years to step down as Associate Dean for Research and Information Technology to concentrate full-time on Sociology instruction.

Hanneman’s decision to step down was influenced by what he views as the new and energetic leadership in the College, and strong support from the Deans, Associate Vice Chancellor for Computing and Communication, and the central administration. “Most of the things that I wanted to get done when I took the job have gotten done – or are well started, and in good hands,” Hanneman stated.

Throughout his career, Hanneman’s contributions to the fields of digital technology in instruction, research, and administration-related work has led to innumerable changes and improvements in the College. “We can now do better, faster, or with higher quality than we could before; and it enables some things that we couldn’t do at all.” One of Hanneman’s recent multimedia innovations, the Digital Textbook, provides text, audio, and video demonstrations designed to enhance learning for students.

Hanneman led the College in building its IT foundation. The improvements on the Blackboard system have assisted students and faculty greatly. On-line grade submission will make its debut shortly and faculty web-mail has been made easier. Wireless expansion continues to soar within the college. The general assignment of classroom technology including internet and media access continues to be a top priority. One of Hanneman’s recent multimedia innovations, the digital textbook "Basic Statistics for the Social Sciences", provides text, audio, and video demonstrations designed to enhance learning for students.

Relating to Research accomplishments, the Geographical Information System (GIS) has been initiated which allows researchers to examine and analyze information spatially using a data-base and mapping application. The Statistical Consulting Co-laboratory led to a successful opening year in 2002-2003. The Faculty Computer Replacement program provides for replacement of the computers that faculty use for instruction. The program was renewed in 2002-03 for another 4-year cycle.

Administrative services saw improvements and development in such areas as department, center, program web pages, graduate program recruiting support, graduate program financial aid planning support, scheduling support for language testing, on-line distribution of registration PINs, mandatory student email/web-mail, a credit-card server, CHASS intranet, event calendaring, student e-services, and a graduate online application.

In addition, his position contributed significantly to his work as a sociologist. “One of the subjects that I study as a sociologist is the process of change in large-scale formal organizations. It has been quite fascinating to be a “fly on the wall” as UCR has gone through the most dramatic period of change in its history. The opportunity to observe (and, to a limited extent, participate in) the process first-hand has been an interesting reality check on organizational theory.”

Hanneman also commented that the position allowed him the opportunity to work more closely with faculty and staff across the entire College, “It has given me a much better appreciation of the amazing diversity and talent of people that we are fortunate to have in CHASS.”

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