Message from Dean Javed Mostafa

Outlook for 2024: New professors, new building and a new strategic plan

As a new Dean, with just one term on the job at U of T, I am thrilled to have joined the Faculty of Information at a time of genuine renewal. As a result, this new year’s message is an outlook not just for 2024 but a glimpse of what’s in store for our community for years and decades to come. 

Let me begin with the fact that we are in the midst of a major wave of hiring, seeking to recruit five new faculty members in addition to the five professors we hired in 2023. Our current junior faculty members – who have expertise in topics ranging from AI and machine learning to community museums and preservation of Black culture – are the perfect complement to our accomplished and experienced professors. My hope is that, with the current round of hiring, we can continue this trend, and again recruit colleagues who place a significant emphasis on human creativity, history, diversity and advanced information technology. With an already wide spectrum of talent at our three campuses, we are looking to create more active opportunities for collaboration among the St. George faculty members and colleagues based at UTM’s Institute of Communication, Culture, Information and Technology and UTSC’s Department of Arts, Culture and Media. 

Thanks to both good timing and lots of hard work, we are now able to move ahead with our plans for the revitalization the Claude T. Bissell Building, our home since 1973 and an edifice whose Brutalist charms I’ve come to recognize in the short time I’ve been here. I am confident that artists and architects will create a welcoming new human and social space that will foster engagement and create linkages and connections to the city, our communities and all our campuses. 

As we prepare to build this inclusive home of the future, we are also embarking on a strategic planning process designed to identify our place in the wider world of information scholarship. With the pace of change accelerating and information phenomena having more and more impact on people’s daily lives, our strategic plan must be iterative and adaptable. Ultimately our goal is to see information used to nurture human creativity and human expression, and to support human values in both deep and practical ways. In the coming months, you can expect to hear from me as I ask for your input and opinions on how best to build our Faculty and make our presence felt in the ever-evolving field of information.  

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