In Memoriam: Professor Ian Kerr

The FIMS community is mourning the loss of University of Ottawa Professor Ian Kerr, a founding FIMS faculty member and early architect of the Media, Information & Technoculture (MIT) program.

Professor Kerr passed away on August 26th after a battle with cancer. Although Kerr was with FIMS for only three years (1996-1999) before moving to the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa, his contribution was immense. As one of the first faculty members hired into the new Faculty of Information and Media Studies at Western, he played a key role in the development of the early MIT program as it took shape as the flagship undergraduate program for FIMS. He was an outstanding teacher, setting the tone of each class with the loud and energetic beats of a favourite song, and building on that opening with challenging and engaging lectures on new media and the law. He was recognized for his teaching over the years with multiple awards and citations. 

Kerr was an outstanding scholar who was prescient in identifying the intersection of law, ethics, and technology as a critical social issue. He held a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Ethics, Law, and Technology at the University of Ottawa. He was also a thoroughly good guy who maintained teaching, mentoring, and collaboration relationships with many of his FIMS colleagues and students long after he left the faculty.

Professor Kerr leaves behind his daughter, Ruby, and his wife, Erin. He also leaves behind a huge network of students, colleagues, and friends, including many who know him from FIMS, who join Erin and Ruby in mourning his passing.