SOIS joins iSchools

Dietmar Wolfram

Dietmar Wolfram

UWM’s School of Information Studies (SOIS) has been selected to join the international iSchools organization.

The iSchools organization, founded in 2006, is a worldwide collective of information schools that are dedicated to advancing the information field and interested in the connections among information, people and technology. The organization currently includes 36 institutions in 11 countries. Member schools are elected or invited.

SOIS is one of 23 U.S. information schools that are members of iSchools, and the only one in Wisconsin.

“We are very pleased and honored to have been admitted to the iSchools organization,” says Dietmar Wolfram, interim dean of SOIS. “As one of a small but growing number of iSchools internationally, our membership recognizes SOIS as a leader in the education of information professionals and a contributor to information research.”

Geoff Nunberg of the School of Information at the University of California, Berkeley, and keynote speaker at the 2012 iSchools iConference, explained the concept in an interview on National Public Radio’s “Fresh Air”:

“It isn’t just about computer science anymore, either. That isn’t where you go to find out how technology changes people’s lives, and where it fails them, or how to make it less intrusive and more humane. Those are questions people are taking up at the schools of information that have sprung up at research universities like UCLA, Toronto and Washington – iSchools, for short. It’s a different ‘i,’ but it too stands in for a connection between technology and the social world.”

SOIS was the only North American program admitted with the most recent group of three new members. Wolfram noted the importance of membership in the international organization in helping recruit top faculty and students.

“Being a member of the iSchool organization will boost the visibility and profile of the school,” says Iris Xie, SOIS professor and doctoral program director. “It will greatly help us recruit high-quality doctoral students, broaden and enhance the careers of our doctoral students and build a stronger
doctoral program.”