COUNCIL ON EDUCATIONAL POLICY
2003-04 Chair: Edelgard Wulfert
November 14, 2003
J-F. Brière, M. Carpenter, F. Hauser, F. Henderson, T. Hoff, P. Leonard, D. McCaffrey, C. Santiago, S. Stern, E. Wulfert, P. Bloniarz (Guest)
Presented by Provost Santiago
President's Report: Presented by Provost Santiago
Chair's Report: Presented by Edelgard Wulfert
New Business:President's Report:
Provost Santiago provided a brief history of the anticipated developments in the School of Information Science and Policy (SISP). A few years ago, an Advisory Committee on Information Science and Policy reported to the Provost that there was a need for Information Technology (IT) and Information Sciences support across the campus, and that every discipline across the campus has some link to IT. The report proposed a perspective that was campus wide, viewing SISP to be the hub for this initiative and recommended that the Department of Computer Science be explicitly included. To satisfy this need, the new Dean of SISP, Dr. Peter Bloniarz, has proposed an approach labeled IT Commons. The Provost and Dean Bloniarz have discussed this proposal with the Dean's Council. Moreover, the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and the Chair and faculty of the Department of Computer Science have been included in these discussions with Dean Bloniarz. The Provost was very explicit in stating that the Department of Computer Science could participate in the IT Commons project as a unit within the SISP or as they are currently structured within the College of Arts & Sciences. It was made clear that if the Department of Computer Science does not want to be part of the SISP, they do not have to be located within SISP organizationally. If the Department of Computer Science does express an intent to join SISP, a series of new discussions will need to occur. The Provost feels that it is important that the educational and research needs of the university be met in the area of IT.
Chair Wulfert asked if the Provost saw an impact on undergraduate education if the Department of Computer Science moved to SISP. The Provost responded that there would most certainly be an impact, but he felt that undergraduate education in the area of information science and applied computer science needs to be enhanced. He reiterated that our goal is an educational experience of the highest quality.
Chair Wulfert asked for clarification on the notion that the Department of Computer Science might feel a stronger alliance with the math department rather than the SISP. Dean Bloniarz agreed that the work they do might align more with some mathematicians, which has been discussed. The SISP is not as technical as he would like to see it, on other hand; there is a need for a more applied information technology, systems development. SISP has set goals for the year, including having the MA accredited, reviewing the undergraduate curriculum and to define clearly what kind of skills students should have once they complete the program, and to build faculty in the school (currently the have two hires proposed to the Provost). Dean Bloniarz indicated that regardless of what the Department of Computer Science chooses to do, he expects a change in the SISP programs. The SISP will be building the IT Commons program across the campus; it will involve people from the School of Business, the School of Criminal Justice, the School of Public Health, Public Administration and Policy, and the College of Arts and Sciences
Dean Bloniarz gave a brief history of how the School of Information Science evolved. He handed out a list of faculty members now affiliated with the School. Then he presented a set of slides explaining that IT is important in all disciplines. Many departments do have a component that recognizes this and they have hired someone in the IT field. Additionally, a number of departments have successfully began a program like this in the past few years. He further explained that IT issues contain common themes across the campus. Currently, there are programs in each school/department, called MY IT Programs. Deans, President and Provost all endorse getting people to work together, thus the IT Commons approach. It will be a campus-wide resource; they will put resources into the schools/departments to work together. The University cannot afford to build it in each school/department; working together is a way to go. There will be shared faculty lines in IT Commons, it will consist of faculty who have a primary home in one of the schools or colleges, but a portion of their resource will be explicitly cross-campus in responsibility in providing courses to the entire campus. Many colleges across the country are moving in this way.
IT Commons has been discussed for a couple of years, it is in the informative stage. Funding for IT Commons will come from schools/colleges with faculty, the Campus Financial Plan/Hiring Plan, and external resources (the idea will be establishing an MOU with faculty hired, understanding that a portion of their teaching responsibility will be IT Commons). This is in the planning stage.
Professor Hauser brought up that when a person is working in two departments, tenure and promotion becomes an issue because neither department seems to claim them. Dean Bloniarz is aware of this situation and is looking into it. Professor Hauser also indicated that from what he had seen from the IT Commons presentation, it seemed to be a much needed initiative. Professor McCaffrey asked if the faculty members will be teaching core courses and Dean Bloniarz explained that each department and candidate would approach it differently.
Dean Bloniarz explained that he is coming to EPC with this information in the early stages.
Chair Wulfert ended the meeting with thanking Dean Bloniarz for an
excellent presentation of the IT Commons initiative.