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October 27, 2016

School proposal goes to trustees

Plans to merge the School of Information Sciences (SIS) and the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Computer Science (CS) to form a School of Computing and Information (SCI) will be presented to the Board of Trustees tomorrow, Oct. 28.

Provost Patricia E. Beeson told Senate Council last week that the plans were launched early in 2015 as a result of campus discussions about how the University supports computing and information, which have become integral across disciplines.

“My view is we needed more of a center of gravity in this area, that what we were doing was too diffuse. But I asked the faculty to consider whether or not they agreed and what the solution would be,” she told the council. At Beeson’s request, faculty in information sciences and computer sciences developed the proposal, with broad input from the campus community. (See June 11, 2015, University Times.)

Nathan Urban, vice provost for special projects, is leading the search committee tasked with identifying the school’s founding dean. The position specification is posted at

Beeson said the proposal went through shared governance reviews at the department and school levels and was discussed in the Provost’s Advisory Committee on Undergraduate Programs and the University Council on Graduate Study. Earlier this month it passed its final internal review by the University planning and budgeting committee.

With the board’s approval, the first cohort of students would matriculate in the new school next fall.

“I’m very excited about the possibilities here of new academic programs, new research initiatives and the way in which this new school is really going to help us move forward as an institution,” the provost said.

—Kimberly K. Barlow 

Filed under: Feature,Volume 49 Issue 5

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