The Faculty of Information is one of the world's most important information and knowledge management schools. Our programs are led by leading researchers and faculty across multiple disciplines and result in exceptional research and career opportunities.
As I look ahead to my last academic year (2018/19) as Dean and start to contemplate retirement, I’m happy to say that it’s full speed ahead here at the Faculty of Information. In keeping with our new academic mission and interdisciplinary approach, which has its roots in our 2008 designation as an iSchool, we’ve made many significant changes in recent years and are now seeing the results.
In June 2018, our first cohort of User Experience Design students are graduating. The UXD concentration, which was overhauled three years ago to reflect changes in the field, has proven extremely successful. And as you’ll read on this website, our UXD specialists are now making their mark in the working world.
Thanks to the popularity of the UXD concentration, we have recently hired two new faculty members who are specialists in the field: Olivier St-Cyr and another associate professor yet to be announced. Our third exciting new hire this year is Jia Xue, who is a joint appointment with the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work. She will teach in a new Master’s concentration, Human Centred Data Science, which should be introduced in the fall of 2019.
As if all that is not enough, we are introducing a new Bachelor of Information program, which – pending the final official stamp of approval – will admit the first cohort of BI students in the fall of 2019. The BI is a second-entry professional undergraduate degree that we believe will help meet the growing demand for information professionals.
At the PhD level, we plan to introduce a specialization in Media and Technology in the fall of 2019. We’re home to the McLuhan Centre for Culture and Technology and many of our faculty members – including those with graduate appointments from the Mississauga and Scarborough campuses – have expertise in this field so adding Media and Technology as a specialization is a natural fit.
Under the leadership of Sarah Sharma, the McLuhan Centre has been an extremely lively place this year. Its Monday Night seminars have been packed, and the Log Out! conference it hosted (see page18) on the “platform economy” trended on social media last March.
Finally, I want to thank Associate Professor David Phillips, who retired in the spring of 2018, for his key role in developing the BI program and getting it approved right up to this very final stage. David leaves the Faculty on a high note, setting an example for me as I try to accomplish as much in my final year as he did in his. Congratulations, David, you will be missed.
The iSchool has a proud history of great leaders who pushed the Faculty towards an innovative future for the Information field.
Brian Cantwell Smith
Winifred G. Barnstead