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."


  1. Please keep library in our name! It is a beautiful word with an ancient history, as well as a key to the present and future.
    GraceAnne DeCandido, Part-time lecturer, Rutgers SCILS

  2. I work in a library. I am a librarian.
    I went to Rutgers to get a degree to qualify me to work in a library and be a librarian.

    These days everyone communicates and uses information. So how would a program so named identify what is taking place? (A degree in communication is entirely different.) The proposed change in name is broad, lacks detail and focus, and thus, I my opinion, is meaningless.

    As a member of this profession and alum of SCILS, I don't want to remove library from the program of study I pursued.

    McKinley Sielaff, Government Documents Librarian, Colorado College

  3. Once again, Rutgers neglects to take into account the voice of the people who really count: the students and alumni.

    I had this experience as an undergrad about 20 years ago, with the Douglass College fight, and throughout the MLIS program.

    Mainly, the issue has to do with lack of communication, with incorrect information, and without regard to dialogue and feedback. Ironic considering what it is supposed to represent.

    Unfortunately RU has the only ALA accredited library school, or I would've chosen a different school.

  4. I find this bizarre and appalling. What is to be gained from this name change, besides taking a perfectly good and easy to say acronym and getting a lame one in return (SCIS???).

    Why, as an alumni, would I want to give money to a program that no longer values my profession enough to include it in their name?

    Are library courses still going to be taught, and MLS to be offered?

    Not one single person I have spoken to understands why this happening, what a random waste of time and effort to be bothering to change a perfectly good, very informational, and inclusive name. Shame on you Rutgers. If this goes through my disappoint will be reflected in my monetary giving and my recommendation of the school to perspective students.

    Kate Elliott
    SCILS '08

  5. Ooooh, the word library is so old school!!! Let's spend a bunch of taxpayer dollars to change the name of the school to something amibiguous!

  6. Dear alums and students --

    A word of clarification. Our Library and Information Science program/degree is strong and becoming stronger. We are adding faculty and courses all the time. The ALA accredited Library and Information Science program will remain with that name even if the school name changes. And -- of course -- we will continue to offer our various library degrees, including school/library media and the degree we have offered for many years -- MLIS.

    Please be aware that our school contains several departments -- communication, journalism and media studies, library and information science -- and we offer many programs - in public relations, advertising, broadcast journalism, library science, digital libraries, information technology and informatics. All of these programs can not appear in the name of the school, but communication and information are threads that bind us together along with the values of free speech and intellectual freedom.

    So -- here's to libraries and our excellent library students and alums. We are planning to be here for a long time to come under the name of our program -- Library and Information Science.

    Best wishes,
    Claire McInerney,
    Associate Professor
    Department Chair
    Library and Information Science Department
    clairemc at rutgers.edu

  7. As a Douglass College alumna ('05), I have already been through this once and I'm sad to have to go through it again.

    I personally do not see how the removal of "Library Studies" from the name of our school will give the impression to the rest of academia that we are becoming more encompassing as a school. I feel that instead, it is almost an insult to the MLIS students because although we make up about 25% of the school, we're no longer worthy of being included in the title. If the name were being completely changed, perhaps my reaction might be different -- but this is just truncating the existing name to remove our field (and the subfields within.)

    I also think that most people will pronounce it "Sigh", not "Sky" as is reportedly hoped for -- I certainly did when I first saw it written (and still do, because that is how that particular group of letters is pronounced the majority of the time in the English language.) Isn't that a marketing risk? To have an acronym which may imply ambivalence or negativity?

    After reading the notes from the LISSA meeting, articles from LibraryJournal and elsewhere, and various discussions between students and on this blog, I just still do not see what is to be gained here.

    Siobhan McCarthy
    SCILS '09

  8. Good lord. You guys seem to be very insecure about this name change thing. It doesn't reduce your MLIS in any way. Why all this push back? On your resume do you actually write the school as "Rutgers" Or 'Rutgers School of Communication, Information, and Library Studies" ?

    Seriously, you act as if someone is ripping out a part of your cultural identity that has been part of you and your family for generations.