Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Rutgers Meetings - EPPC and BoG

"Before being voted on by the University Board of Governors on April 2, 2009, the proposed school name change (from School of Communication,Information, and Library Studies to School of Communication and Information) will go before the Educational Planning and Policy Committee,which meets on March 18.

Those wishing to express an opinion on the name change can write to:

Robert A. Laudicina, Educational Planning and Policy Committee
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Office of the Secretary of the University
7 College Avenue
Winants Hall, Room 112
New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901-1260

In addition, please feel free to share your ideas here in a comment within this post. All comments, either for or against the name change are welcome and will be passed on to the EPPC and BoG."

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Thanks and Moving Forward

Thank you everyone who showed up. Thank you, Jill, for the blog coverage. This was a good discussion. Please read, think, and comment. The big question is....

What to do next?

~Mary Fran

Friday, February 13, 2009

longer conclusion and thanks

Sorry for the delay in this post. My hands were tired!

Please join me in thanking:
- Fran Daley, for organizing and running tonight's meeting
- Dean Schement and the SCILS faculty members who attended
- SCILS students, staff, and alumni, NJ library community members, and members of the press who attended the meeting, either in-person or virtually

I hope that, despite technical problems in the middle of the meaning, this blog provides a useful record. Fran was also taking pen-and-paper notes, and the meeting was recorded as a digital audio file. Information about the online availability of the digital audio will hopefully be forthcoming.

More information about the "1/3 mill" issue mentioned at the meeting is available by visiting the NJLA Legislative Updates page and clicking on Model Resolution Opposing League of Municipalities (pdf file).

quick conclusion

Thanks to everyone who attended or followed - longer conclusion coming soon!

responding to Pat and Liz's comments

people graduate from a program and from the school

people just say Rutgers

MLIS student:
most degrees just say Graduate School of New Brunswick

responding to Pat Tumulty's comment

It is a big fight right now
I don't think that an action that's going to occur here later this spring will affect a vote that's scheduled for the second week in March
moving to #1 shows strong support for the program
I don't see that this is going to be misinterpreted

demonstrates the need for community, not a sense of we vs. they

meeting 6:41

We consciously chose not to let numbers win
to merge together the twin basic phenomena
it's a choice that'll tell our story better, to help us stand apart from other schools

meeting 6:38

I apologize, Blogger went down again and I lost some, am trying again to catch up

MLIS student:
meaning of "sic" according to wikitionary - indicates a mistake ("sic" in Latin)

MLIS student:
well, if the music students are called "Gross"...

MLIS student:
School of Information would have been cleaner

media person:
communication is a broad process too
we wouldn't want communication dropped, wouldn't want not to be counted

MLIS student:
that's exactly how we feel

meeting 6:32

as a pilot, I like to pronounce it "sky" (SCI)
are enemies of libraries already saying, "Well, RU is planning to change its name," or are we ahead of it?

the assembly and senate people in Trenton are very intelligent, we don't have any problem with them, they respect libraries
mayors of small towns are the ones that object - want to tell people to go to the next town and use their library
mayors of major cities are very supportive
complicated issue
there's going to be a course this summer that deals with this...(some laughter: Paul: no advertising! :))

meeting 6:30

MLIS student:
better name would have been appropriate, rather than just a chop

MLIS student:
need the support not just of the faculty, but also of the students
we're open minded about change
if you delayed this, made it feel like we had more voice, like it wasn't being forced down our throats
it feels like a chop, not a change
would have support of students, not send a harmful message to the public

added complication: MLIS students make up 27% of the school and are very enthusiastic
we have to convince you that what we're doing is in your interest in the long term

meeting 6:25

I'm a real library guy and real proud of that
but in favor of the name change
the dean says he wants us to be the #1 program in the country
can we also get comfortable chairs, enough plugs for computers - that's on deans' agenda
1/3 mill thing* - we support strong public libraries
*Jill's note: I tried to find a link to explain this, but all are pdf files, will try to add one later

important to think about messages sent

MLIS student:
is name set or open to discussion

we've submitted a proposal for SCI to Board of Governors
other acronyms have been talked about but this is the one that's been submitted

MLIS student:
some opinions say that change is okay, but not that particular name
people in the towns are battling for 1/3 mill, they won't ask questions - if they see RU is chopping library studies, they'll see that even RU doesn't value libraries

meeting 6:23

valid concern
thank you to everyone who's here, everyone who's sent email
made us realize the loyalty, strong feelings
may not be visible: Dan has spent hours on the phone with people
maybe it would have been better if we were proactive about this, we had plans to communicate with people
it's not a done deal
we have been spending lots and lots of time
I don't think the leaders will connect the change in the name with any idea that we're lowering our support to library science

meeting 6:20

(btw, I don't think anyone's Twittering, just me blogging - I thought the blog would be easier to read in chunks, especially after the fact)

MLIS student:
a lot of people don't even realize that you need a master's degree to be a librarian
term library is valuable
concerned about the timing: difficult time for libraries, trying to change 1/3 mill law
name change now will send the wrong message
communication problems in discussing this issue - we weren't given time to prepare
very concerned about what kind of message it sends to the broader community

responses to comments

Dan O'Connor:
one time we had a demonstration protesting increase in tuition, low pay for asst professors
450 faculty, 300 grad students
at the end we heard: you didn't even have 20% show up!
we have about 25 people here, maybe 27
there was a conversation in the faculty meeting before voting: why don't we add the word media?
been here since 1974
assumed that half of the votes were people who wanted to add the word media

2 journalism/media studies faculty here: Prof. Marchi and Prof. Kern

meeting 6:12

most students in one program don't know any students in the others
we had an ice cream social - 400-500 people came, people at least saw each other
we intend to do a lot more of that, we don't know how, esp with online students, but we want to
democracy begins with community - no other school includes both pillars of democracy, the press and libraries

meeting 6:10

went to an online ed in libraries meeting in Denver
one thing that characterizes our program is that we try to have all of our faculty teach at least one online course
you are in our minds - we can do better keeping you in the communication loop
Melanie Andrich is included in our planning group

we're struggling with: the meaning of what it means to be a community
deepen the roots of community

meeting 6:05pm

I missed Schement's answer while trying to get Blogger to re-load

(I haven't forgotten you, commentors!)

we've introduced a program that fills the needs of different students
the issue you bring out is how salient identity is

more technical problems

I apologize - I typed a question from the online peer mentor but it didn't show up.

we didn't know about the change, we feel isolated already
how will communicate with us in the future?

meeting 6:00

several schools that went from L to nothing (Columbia, etc) - programs that don't exist anymore
growth is tied to finding partners

(Jill's notes: I see the comments on the blog and will read them at first opportunity)

meeting 5:57

I don't think of it as a library school, but as SCILS
our success: unique harmony between research and professions
what impact research has been done to look at the risk of this change?

a lot of emails showing concern for how much this will cost - a good concern
our strategy is one we would have used in good times: spend as little as possible
maps get reissued every summer anyway, building code won't change
what about my cards? have to give them all out first
what about signage? changes would have to be made

impact studies about how we'll achieve more greatness and not confuse people more?

a lot of data from AAU schools - all are doing better than they were at the times of their name changes
four examples (too much to catch)

back on track: meeting 5:51

Okay, folks, I think we're back on track - it looks like I was just misnumbering. I'll be doing times from now on, and keeping posts shorter

should reference intellectual domains, not professions
not "fight for your turf," but "greater opportunities"
professionals re(something) themselves (re-image?)
broadened perspective

meeting 6?

Sorry - while I was typing that I missed more
Schement was asked if we're moving to Livingston, said no

had 4 meetings with students, all of which were civil, courteous
we're attracting the best that can be attracted

(I'm going to try to get meeting 5 back - there were important points in there)

tech interruption

"meeting 5" apparently didn't get posted - sorry - there's a recording also

meeting 5 cont.

MLIS student:
other issues made this a bigger issue
by dropping library, it's a change - like library has become a part of information science
what librarians do hasn't changed, not a part of IS
L and IS should be connected, but there does seem to be a rift
the public are still confused about what librarians do
core mission of librarians hasn't changed
are we going to change the core mission of the school?
manner that this change came about sort of threw people
if we are changing, we want to be aware - how will future changes be handled?
we want to be sure school mission isn't changing

language matters
taking L out sends question marks out there - does it mean L is diminished?
what if it expands our sphere of influence?
when we say C+I we're saying that we are connected
comm is a huge part of what librarians are doing, are good at

MLIS student:
would have made more sense, made people less mad if I+C name, instead of just dropping L from the end - would have been rebranding, not a drop

SIC? bad acronym
all change is (missed - something like difficult)
producing the leaders of the profession - can't do it unless we change

meeting 4

MLIS student:
How is just changing the name going to attract all these new professors and new ideas?

What we didn't say is that we're also in the process of reimagining ourselves
when our colleagues across the country were in hiring freezes, we've hired 5, maybe 6 faculty, each of whom speak across the boundaries of the department
one person who studies video games - does he belong in media? LIS? where should we put him? we put him in the library program, we think that kind of stimulation is vitally important
we need to explain why this is remaking us as a school - our competitive advantage is that we do things other instititions can't

MLIS student:
Why didn't you explain this before just announcing that you were changing the name?

We didn't have a public meeting but we talked to some people
We talked to some students very early on, in all the programs, and right around the time of the vote
We didn't say "can we have permission"
It's been public, it's been floating around for 20 years
30-10-1 vote
secret ballot
20 years from now, open question, names change
was this an effort of all the faculty to gang up on the library faculty? as far as we can tell that wasn't the case
other people have suggested that we're not being true to our roots
our oldest rooted program is the undergrad journalism program, 1926
second is undergrad library service, 1927
two very important professional roots, but they wouldn't be here if we didn't have an intellectual focus
we attract a lot of students because they want to be where a first-rate faculty are
value of degree wouldn't be there if we weren't a reserach university

MLIS alum:
issue is process, commodization of students
Douglass college debacle
were told that students weren't supposed to find out until it went through
profession is struggling for air, we need to defend it every day
this forum needed to happen sooner, even if it were just a gesture
students feel that we're here to fund the faculty research
we hardly knew about it
it's one more fight that we've been struggling with

meeting 3

Harty Mokros, associate dean, professor of comm:
history, context
establishment of the school, position of library schools through the 20th-21st century, changes taken place
50 peer institutions - one of 62 AAU universities (2 Canada, 60 US) - a commitment to research
SCILS founded in 1982 - library program goes back to 1920s, first at Douglass, 1950s established as a school, Ph.D program 1959 - originally called Graduate School of Library Service - then Library and Information Studies
beginning 1978, library schools began to fall under serious pressure, disbanded - among them the major library schools in US (UChicago, Columbia, Case Western, Minnesota, Oregon, Denver - 17 total closed 1978-1994)
closures related to a sense that the programs had become focused on service, not research
introduction of information science was significant
at Rutgers, sense of a library school that was now library and information studies (dropped service in the 70s)
concern of viability of freestanding school and its future - key faculty hadn't changed in 10 years
merger in 1982 brought together dept of comm, journalism with large undergraduate programs
journalism from the outset wasn't part of the name - not having elevated the value of that
merger was a solution to some practical issues, also an idea of bringing together interests in the ideas of comm, information, media that translated to professions
a professional school within a research university - very significant
library schools that weren't closed upped their connection to information
18 iSchools - RU is a member - new, but stimuled by SCILS merger - North Carolina, Texas
19 schools, 18 are members of research universities - only one that isn't is Drexel
of the 18, 15 grew out of library programs, only 2 that had a merger: ours, UCLA merged with education
majority no longer have library in the name - out of 19, only 4 have library in the name
UNC, SCILS, Indiana, UIUC (Illinois)
others - information (too many to catch) - all have library programs, for the sake of their broader research understand that they have a mission to establish a framing of who they are in terms of conceptual ideas rather than professional identity
we're unique that this is an issue
for excellent faculty, for the stature that we have within disciplines, within the university, it's vital that we address the sorts of demands - professional identity is the route to closure
you cannot attract research faculty unless you have a research focus
we frame it in a vocabulary that seems somewhat strange to you - it's not a matter of disrespecting you
the school has a lot of different identities - it has to have a concern with its broader intellectual identity
very fascinating history - the history of ideas, very practical decisions that major universities have made and continue to make, as places where new ideas are what is encouraged

more meeting

NJASL rep:
has some concerns, wants answers before stating a position
within school lib community, word library is coming back after unsuccessful experiments to take it out
how will name change affect how librarians are accepted in educational community?

Does it matter that the degree, program have the word library in it?


It should

We have a commitment to librarians in this state

NJASL dropped library, put media back in, now library back - what's the history?

flux of terminology
EMA - educational media association

(Dan, NJASL back and forth)
as events change, situations

changing from library didn't work for EMA, keeping library in the first place might be worthwhile

Beginning of meeting

Fran opens the meeting, introduces LISSA, introduces common goals, introduces Prof. Claire McInerney and Dean Schement

a few minutes to give some background
initiated the name change to celebrate our unique status - only school to combine comm and information
combination draws every person in this school together
celebrate, communicate our uniqueness
discussed beginning last fall with: library opinion leaders, leaders in journalism, advertising, PR, corporate, our colleagues at peer universities
first time aired publicly at faculty meeting retreat - UMich and UWashington also included
communicated our actions to a number of publics - not perfect, we did a good job in some areas and not others
feel badly that we embarrassed some of our friends - will submit written apologies
mixup of communications - I take responsibility
bottom line: name of dept remains, name of program remains, name of master's degree remains, name of Ph.D program remains
at a difficult time economically, we're growing: students, faculty, putting resources into the program - some of our peer institutions aren't
again, we are unique in taking an aggressive view to growth
served on team with Obama administration (missed some here) - glad to have had opportunity
who are we to our students? a journalism school, a PR school, an advertising school, a library school
we care about every one - thousands and thousands of students
we would like them to understand that we're an intellectual community, a learning community grounded in comm and information
those together give us our competitive advantage

Live-blogging LISSA meeting

Hello and welcome to the live blog of the Fri, Feb. 13 LISSA meeting to discuss the proposed SCILS name change. I'll be typing rather quickly, so please forgive any typos. We'll be starting in about 15 minutes.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Live Coverage

Several individuals have requested some form of live coverage for this event. The best I can offer is blogging to this site from my laptop, if someone will volunteer to be our blogger. Fancier ideas such as podcasting and even video coverage have been suggested. Would anyone like to be our blogger or take on another technology for communication? ~Mary Fran Daley phran at eden.rutgers.edu

Changing from SCILS to SCI

Is it a good idea for Rutgers University to change the name of School of Communication, Information, and Library Studies to the School of Communication and Information?

How can students most effectively voice their position to the administration?

What strategies should students employ to become partners in future decisions?

What are your other concerns?

Please comment.

LISSA Hosts Meeting to Discuss Name Change - This Friday the 13th at 5pm - SCILS Student Lounge

LISSA is the Rutgers University student branch of the American Library
Association. There is a recent controversy regarding changing our school
name to the School of Communication & Information. We are known as SCILS,
The School of Communication, Information, and Library Studies.

LISSA has the SCILS student lounge booked for this Friday, the 13th from
5pm to 7pm. Students, faculty, administration, and community members are
invited to meet in a respectful forum to discuss their positions on the
name change of SCILS to SCI. We may consider drafting a LISSA position
statement at this meeting.

All MLIS students are members of LISSA. Doctoral students may choose to
join LISSA.

If you are not able to attend, please weigh in by emailing your ideas to
SCILSorSCI at gmail.com . Please email questions regarding this meeting to
phran at eden.rutgers.edu .

Please spread the word.

Mary Fran Daley
Co-President of LISSA