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DOCUMENTS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY

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

The secretary is hereby filing a protest to the recommended name change for the Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS) to the School of Information (D 2127-2132a). The reasons for the protest are stated below. This item will be introduced at the regular meeting of the Faculty Council on September 23, 2002.


John R. Durbin, Secretary
The Faculty Council



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

In a letter to the secretary on July 15, 2002, Executive Vice President and Provost Ekland-Olson wrote: “Given that the name change reflects a slight shift in focus for the School, it is felt that it would be useful for the Faculty Council to review the proposal prior to its being sent to President Faulkner for approval, from there to the UT System administration and the Board of Regents, and finally the Coordinating Board. Therefore, I ask that this matter be included on the agenda of the first Faculty Council meeting in the 2002-03 academic year.”

The secretary subsequently circulated the proposal to the members of the Council on a no-protest basis. Although there is no protest from another member of the Council (one protest was received and then withdrawn), it is clear that some members have reservations about the proposal. It has been argued that the Council was not consulted on the name change for the McCombs School of Business, so there is no reason for it to be consulted on this proposed change. There is a difference: in the present case the use of the word “library” is being dropped (which the secretary finds unfortunate), and the proposed name, which seems vague and general, could lead to something more than “a slight shift in focus.”

If the faculty’s role in University governance is to work, then we must assume that if the rules are followed and faculty and administrators are given a chance to speak openly, then things will in most cases work out for the best. By putting this item on the agenda for the September 23 meeting, Dean Dillon of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science is being given an opportunity to elaborate on the circulated rationale for the proposed change, and to address questions from members of the Council, should there be any.