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DOCUMENTS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY

RECOMMENDED NAME CHANGE FOR THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF LIBRARY AND INFORMATION SCIENCE (GSLIS) TO THE SCHOOL OF INFORMATION

 

Dean Andrew Dillon and the faculty of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS) have submitted a recommendation that the name of their school be changed to School of Information. The secretary has classified this proposal as legislation of exclusive application and primary interest to a single college or school.

If no objection is filed with the Office of the General Faculty by the date specified below, the legislation will be held to have been approved by the Faculty Council. If objection is filed within the prescribed period, the legislation will be presented to the Faculty Council at its meeting on September 23, 2002. The objection, with reasons, must be by a member of the Faculty Council.

To be counted, a protest must be received in the Office of the General Faculty by September 13, 2002.


<signed>

John R. Durbin, Secretary
The Faculty Council


Posted on the Faculty Council web site on August 30, 2002. Paper copies are available on request from the Office of the General Faculty, FAC 22, F9500.


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RECOMMENDED NAME CHANGE FOR THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF LIBRARY AND INFORMATION SCIENCE (GSLIS) TO THE SCHOOL OF INFORMATION

 

Nonsubstantive Administrative Change Request

I.
Description of change requested.

Following much discussion over several months on the topic of the School’s name, the Graduate Studies Committee of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science voted unanimously (20-0) on March 5, 2002 to begin the process to change the name of the school. Following discussions with the wider university community, including the provost's office, the Vice President’s Council, the General Libraries Director and the Faculty Council Executive Committee, and our School’s Advisory Council, we decided to change the name to the School of Information.

II.
Rationale for the proposed change.

Several competitor schools have undergone similar name changes in recent years. Most noticeably, University of Michigan became the School of Information, Berkeley created the School of Information Management and Systems, Penn State has created a new School of Information Sciences & Technology, and the University of Washington has created the Information School. Such schools continue to graduate librarians but now also train information architects, usability specialists, and information analysts; lucrative new professions for which there are insufficient graduates. Schools such as these are setting the pace in the information world and have created an identifiable group of intellectual leaders among the major programs. Renaming our School accordingly at this time is a vital step in re-positioning GSLIS to become part of this leading cohort and take advantage of the new markets for information professionals.

The diversity of issues and the multidisciplinary nature of the studies in the information field are no longer adequately described by the title Library and Information Science. This diversity is only set to increase as information technologies impact our lives in new and as yet unforeseen ways. At UT, GSLIS has expanded even further than most by including the preservation, conservation and archives domain, stretching the intellectual coverage of the School beyond the terrain meaningfully covered under the name GSLIS. The proposed name thus serves a meaningful umbrella function, being more inclusive and more accurate in detailing the full nature of the research and teaching in which the School now engages and seeks to engage in the future.

Historically, Library and Information Science has been an unhappy marriage of two competing intellectual traditions: Library Science, with its orientation to the service practices of a single social organization; and Information Science, which focuses on information as a computational but very human process. Theory building in the field over the past 40 years has occurred primarily in the latter realm. Typically, faculty alliances tend to be fixed in one or other camp. Future information specialists need to overcome this outdated division. The new name is a statement of intent on our part to produce information professionals who are comfortable with theory and equipped to apply it in practice across many organizational contexts.

III.
Assessment of name change effect on the administrative unit(s) involved and on the institution as a whole.

The School’s Masters degree was changed in 2001 from a Masters of Library and Information Science to a Masters of Information Studies. The new degree will be awarded to graduating Masters students in December 2002.

No other administrative changes are necessary. The School will continue to report to the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost.


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  A copy of the current School’s organization chart is attached, as well as an organization chart for academic units of The University of Texas at Austin. The proposed change has no effect on either chart.

IV.
Implications for classes, distribution of personnel, availability of facilities, and availability of equipment.

The requested change is non-substantive in part due to the absence of implications for classes, distribution of personnel, and availability of facilities and equipment. The UT Austin Office of the Registrar has been contacted to begin the process of changing the prefix to academic course numbers for the School.
V.
Budgetary Ramifications

Approximately $10,000 would be required to make changes to stationary, business cards, brochures and signs throughout the School. These expenses have been budgeted and can be covered from 2001-2002 funding.


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Attachments

GSLIS org. chart

UT org. chart


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THE GENERAL LIBRARIES
THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN
Office of the Director • PO. Box P Austin, Texas 78713-8916 (512) 495-4350 FAX (512 495-4347




June 11, 2002

Andrew Dillon, Dean
Graduate School of Library and Information Science
D7000

Re GSLIS Name Change

Dear Andrew:

I find the proposal you have developed to change the name of the GSLIS to the School of Information to be absolutely right on target-cogent, exciting, and persuasive. With the strong support that you clearly have from the faculty, this is certainly the time to move ahead before the opportunity is lost.

It is apparent to me that the change is not meant at all simply to provide an umbrella for what is happening within the evolving information education field, but is a mechanism to help push the School into the new information services frontiers that are beginning to open, towards new synergistic partnerships in academia and the corporate area that are waiting, indeed towards the new kind of university that should be coming. I have certainly found that name changes can make people think differently about things and imagine completely fresh constructs that old tags simply do not allow or unmercifully hinder.

Something that has always disappointed me about our own institution-and other large organizations with which I have been associated-is the all too typical attempt to solve new problems or greet new opportunities with old solutions and reactions. There are frequent discussions of trying new things but inevitably the issues are addressed just like they have been in the past. Organizational inertia is immense. This proposed name change offers the possibility of significant progressive ripples far beyond the School-the ability to attract forward looking faculty, to gain new development opportunities in fresh areas, to compete with the best institutions in the country, to place graduates in the best available library and other information positions, and to better meet the growing and diverse information needs of all our citizens.

Your plan makes it very apparent to me that you understand quite clearly our new information-enabled opportunities and an energizing mechanism to help address them. I will be glad to help you however I can in promoting this change.

Sincerely,

<signed>


Harold W. Billings
Director of General Libraries


HB:s
Xc: Executive Vice President and Provost Sheldon Ekland-Olson
Vice President Teresa A. Sullivan


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CATHEDRAL ROCK


March 24, 2002


Resolution:

We, the Advisory Council and faculty of The Graduate School of Library and Information Science recognize that graduates of the Graduate school of Library and Information services, have broader employment opportunities than just libraries. We support the proposed name change for the Graduate School of Library and Information Science to the school of Information.

Because public libraries have traditionally been free, they have often been under valued. While we respect libraries, we deem it necessary to broaden our appeal. It is unfortunate that the branding of the term "library" can be seen as limiting. Therefore, this Advisory Council endorses the concept of the name change and the benefits which could follow.


<signed>

Chairman
Rita Roberdeau Palm

415 FORT WORTH CLUB BUILDING
306 WEST 7TH STREET, FORT WORTH, TEXAS 76102
817.335-4111 FAX 817.335.0800


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MEMBORANDUM
August 30, 2002

 

To: Members of the Faculty Council
From: Michael H. Granof, chair

The following proposal to change the name of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS) to the School of Information is being submitted to the Faculty Council because the UT administration believes it advisable to get Council consent prior to forwarding the recommendation to the UT System, the Regents, and the Coordinating Board.

The Faculty Council Executive Committee has discussed the proposal at length. It is the consensus of the committee that the administration and faculty of the GSLIS are best able to assess the advantages and disadvantages of the name change and accordingly the committee is supportive of it. The proposal from the school, along with the attachments, makes clear the rationale for the change. Moreover, it is backed by the president and provost, as well as the Department of Management Science and Information Systems (another academic unit having the term “information” in its name).