In a welcome address delivered to several hundred delegates gathered at iConference 2018 in Sheffield, Professor Sam Oh of Sungkyunkwan University, Korea, formally began his 2-year term as chair of the iCaucus, governing body of iSchools Inc. Dr. Oh was elected to the position in January 2015 and becomes the organization’s first chair to come out of its rapidly growing Asia Pacific region.
Dr. Oh delivered his welcoming address during the conference’s Tuesday morning plenary. In his talk, he cited iSchools as a catalyst for transformation.
“It is a distinct privilege for me to serve the iSchool community as incoming chair for the next two years,” said Dr, Oh. “While the Information Field has always been at the forefront of addressing obstacles in its landscape, society at large requires faster and more cutting-edge solutions to the problems posed within an ever-increasing deluge of data and information. I hope to build my tenure as iCaucus chair on a foundation of interdisciplinary cooperation shared among our stakeholders and articulated throughout the various areas under our purview.”
Dr. Oh points to raising awareness of the iSchools organization and the information field worldwide as key aspects of his vision. “I consider it my express duty to promote the iSchool movement where it is as of yet less visible and will do my utmost to represent the iSchools both in areas already at its forefront and in regions that have the greatest need of exposure to its initiatives,” he said.
“With more diverse disciplines adopting the iSchool approach on a global scale, I truly believe that the possibilities are endless when it comes to what we – the global iSchools – can achieve. We may differ, but we must work in a setting of respect and good will.”
Dr. Oh assumes the organization reigns from Dr. Ron Larsen, dean emeritus of the iSchool at the University of Pittsburgh. Larsen has the distinction of being the only two-term chair in the iSchools organization’s history, serving 2006-2008 and 2016-2018.
During Larsen’s most-recent term, iSchools Inc. increased in size more than 20 percent, gaining 21 new member schools; it now numbers 91 schools and institutions. The organization’s regional-cooperative focus blossomed under Larsen, helping make the organization more responsive to local needs and priorities. In addition, Larsen also helped spearhead an initiative to restructure governance in an effort to make the rapidly growing organization more nimble and responsive.
“As a twice-elected chair of the iCaucus, it’s been a pleasure watching the consortium gain size and stature over the years,” Larsen said. “I have enjoyed working with our member institutions as we worked collectively to advance the information field worldwide.”