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Information Sciences Former Director Ed Cortez Dies at Sixty-six

Ed Cortez

Ed Cortez, professor emeritus and former director of the School of Information Sciences in the College of Communication and Information, died on Saturday October 6, 2018 at his home in Tucson, Arizona (see his obituary below).

“Ed was a champion of the information sciences profession and dedicated to supporting the next generation of leaders," said Mike Wirth, dean of the College of Communication and Information. "He played an important role in leading the School of Information Sciences and in guiding its integration into the college. He will be greatly missed!”

Edwin Michael Cortez Obituary
(1951 – 2018)
Dr. Edwin M. Cortez “Ed”, age 66, of Tucson, AZ and Waynesville, NC, passed away Saturday, October 6, 2018 in the comfort of his Tucson home and surrounded by loved ones. He was born December 16, 1951 in New York, NY and was the son of Cecilia Maria and Miguel Angel Cortez. He was preceded in death by his parents.

Dr. Cortez received a BS in History from Wagner College, a Master’s in Library and Information Science from the University of Arizona and a PhD in Information Science and Management Communication from the University of Southern California.

He taught at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Catholic University of America (where he served as acting dean), the Pratt Institute and the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. He recently taught an online course in collaboration with Wayne State University. He served as chair of several American Library Association (ALA) committees, particularly relating to accreditation. In the 1990s he was appointed as a Regent to the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Cortez was a Professor Emeritus in the School of Information Sciences at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville where he served with distinction as Professor and Director for 11 years and retired at the end of 2016.

From a scholarly perspective, Dr. Cortez wrote books and peer reviewed journal articles that describe and evaluate the management of information systems and technology from a variety of organizational perspectives. He was also a frequent presenter at national and international conferences in the fields of information science and technology.

Ed’s true passion was to teach, to impart and share knowledge for the betterment and empowerment of others. While demanding, he was caring, generous, and committed. He was very influential in the professional and personal success of many students, colleagues, friends and family.

A great talent in the kitchen with exquisite taste, Ed loved to entertain and share this talent and taste. Over the years, there were many dinner parties lasting late into the night, accompanied by hearty laughter, wit and perhaps a bit of wisdom.

Ed loved to explore the world and the world of ideas. He was quite well travelled throughout the US, Europe, Africa, and Asia. With passion and opinion he would engage one or many in discussion ranging from food and culture, people and countries, politics and business, even decorating and needlepoint.

Ed’s ready smile, infectious laugh and giving spirit continue to give back to those who knew and loved him.

Dr. Cortez is survived by his partner of nearly thirty years Kenneth Dunn of Greenville, SC, brother Alberto Cortes of Raleigh, NC, brother Herman Cortez and sister-in-law Leslie Cortez of Largo, FL. Other survivors include niece, Pilar Fonseca, nephews Julian Cortes, Luis Cortes of New York City, and nephews Marcus Cortez, Alexi Cortez, and Christopher Cortes of Florida. He is also survived by numerous extended family members and special friends.

All services will be private.

Memorial gifts may be made in Ed’s memory to the ASPCA at https://secure.aspca.org/team/Ed%20Cortez%20Memorial