The iSchools Organization has unveiled a new governance structure that is expected to make the Organization more responsive to the needs of its membership. To facilitate the change, the new membership structure more distinctly reflects each member’s involvement with the Organization. In the works for more than a year, the new governance model was formally adopted at the annual iSchools business meeting, which was held March 27, 2018 in conjunction with iConference 2018 in Sheffield, UK.
Under the new model, all iSchools members will participate in the election of a Board of Directors. This new Board consist of two groups: an Executive Committee, and an additional group of regionally elected Board members. The Executive Committee is made up of the current iSchools chair, the chair-elect, the immediate past-chair, the treasurer, the chairs of each of the three regions, and ex officio the executive director. The remainder of the Board consists of regionally elected chairs, calculated using a formula that factors the number of schools and the financial contributions in each.
The newly adopted membership structure offers a wider array of levels reflecting each member’s ongoing relationship with the organization. All members may self-select the membership level that represents the level of support they wish to provide; this includes the iCaucus level, which formerly required institutional approval to join.
The new iSchools membership levels are as follows: iCaucus; Enabling; Sustaining; Supporting; Basic; and Associate. Members at all levels have a vote factored for their level of support, with the exception of those who select the non-voting Associate level.
“I am very pleased with the new governance structure adopted at our recent business meeting,” said iSchools Chair Sam Oh. “These changes enable member-institutions of all sizes to have a direct impact on the Organization’s mission of leading and promoting the information field in the 21st century, while at the same time recognizing the level of Organizational support that each of our members graciously provides.”
Moving forward, the Executive Committee will continue to handle the ongoing day-to-day business of the Organization. The Board of Directors must approve broader decisions such as changes in the budget and membership. In addition, a majority of all members must vote to approve any change in the dues or fundamental structural alterations, and will also elect the chair.
The iSchools Executive Committee currently includes:
- iSchools Chair: Sam Oh, Head of School, Library & Information Science and Data Science Department, Sungkyunkwan University
- iSchools Chair-Elect: Gobinda Choudhury, Head of School, Mathematics and Information Sciences, Northumbria University
- iSchools Past-Chair: Ron Larsen, Dean Emeritus, University of Pittsburgh iSchool
- Executive Director: Michael Seadle, Professor, Berlin School of Library and Information Science, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
- Treasurer: Johannes Bauer , Director, Department of Media and Information, Michigan State University
- European Regional Chair: Ann-Sofie Axelsson, Head of School, The Swedish School of Library and Information Science, University of Boras
- North American Regional Chair and Executive Committee member: Keith Marzullo, Professor and Dean, College of Information Studies, University of Maryland
- Asia Pacific Regional Chair and Executive Committee member: Miguel Nunes, Head of School, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, School of Information Management
The above are joined by the following Board members, elected earlier this month:
- Gary Marchionni, Dean, University of North Carolina, School of Information and Library Science
- Diane Kelly, Director, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, School of Information Sciences
- Tom Finholt, Dean, University of Michigan School of Information
- Kristin Eschenfelder, Director, University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Library and Information Studies
- António Lucas Soares, Director, University of Porto, Faculty of Engineering in cooperation with the Faculty of Arts; alternate Fernanda Ribeiro
- Bin Zhang, Head of School, Renmin University of China, School of Information Resource Management; alternate Jenny Wang
For his part, iSchools Executive Director Michael Seadle expressed satisfaction that the Organization’s extended governance deliberations have resulted in structures that support the needs of membership and will allow the Organization to address challenges and opportunities in the information field.
“All iSchools are known for their leadership and their commitment to the information field. Our Organization seeks to maximize our collective influence and impact worldwide,” said Seadle. “The Organization’s former tier structure was always intended to reflect each member’s relationship with the Organization. By recasting the membership levels and adding more gradations, as well as allowing members to self-select their appropriate level, we believe the egalitarian nature of our Organization will be more clearly understood.”
About the iSchools
The iSchools Organization is a consortium of more than 90 universities and institutions dedicated to advancing the information field in the 21st Century. The iSchools organization supports and recognizes student achievement through its annual Doctoral Colloquium, Doctoral Dissertation Award, and, starting this year, Undergraduate Symposium. The iSchools also provide collaboration tools and other support to assist faculty in their teaching and research endeavors.
Every year, the iSchools organization presents the iConference, a forum in which information scholars, researchers and professionals share their insights on critical information issues in contemporary society. The next iConference is scheduled to take place March 31-April 3, 2019 in Washington DC. Click here to learn more about iConference 2019.