Strategic Plan Overview
The University of Washington Information School is a community of diverse disciplines, professional fields, and areas of expertise engaged with the study of information and its use by people and organizations. We conduct rigorous research and create challenging learning environments that make a difference throughout the region, the state of Washington, the nation, and the world.
To read the complete details of iSchool 2015, please visit the iSchool 2015 website. To view an infographic of the plan, click on the image below:
Strategic Challenges in 2012
The UW iSchool must respond to big problems and societal changes that are at the intersection of people, technology and information with distinct foci that attract external stakeholders and students.
Responding to these societal challenges represent significant opportunities to:
- Leverage the strength and diversity of the iSchool’s broad community
- Sharpen the iSchool’s distinction
- Increase “strategic visibility”, attracting attention, resources and support to the school
- Allow the iSchool to take a leadership role among, and to communicate its value and importance to, the university and professional community
- Help the iSchool focus its investments for growth and partnerships
Two highly compelling challenges of the 21st century global economy are:
- Data, People, & Decisions: The management, analysis and protection of data and information in professional settings.
- Digital Youth: Understanding, supporting and enhancing the interactions of youth with digital information and technology.
The UW iSchool in 2015
The following scenario of the iSchool is described in the present tense of the year 2015.
In 2015, the University of Washington Information School:
- is widely regarded as a world-leading iSchool whose graduates are among the best prepared and most sought-after in their field.
- has academic programs, research agenda and outreach efforts known for their focus, rigor and innovation.
- has faculty and staff with world-class expertise that supports our leadership position in the iSchool movement and the UW community.
- responds to the rapid changes that are transforming the social and economic structures of the 21st century, understanding and improving how people and organizations use information.
- has a renowned and distinguished reputation that attracts highly competitive students, top-tier personnel, and high-value partnerships.
- has a strong resource base.
- is considered extraordinarily valuable by our students, the UW community and external stakeholders.
Over the past three years (2012-2015) the iSchool has focused attention upon three themes: strategic visibility, growth and partnerships.
- Strategic Visibility: Attain a level of strategic visibility for iSchool academic programs, research expertise and pioneering partnerships that distinguish it as a leader within the iSchool movement, a valued asset in the UW community and a rich source of insight, leadership and innovation for corporations, non-profit organizations and governments.
- Growth: Address areas of student and employer demand while looking to achieve appropriate program size for quality and distinction.
- Partnerships: Develop beneficial relationships with its alumni, industry, non-profit organizations, libraries, government entities and community partners to create opportunities for collaborative research, enhanced student learning, and social impact.
The following initiatives describe the activities the iSchool will engage in over the next three years to attain our vision for 2015. These initiatives build on the iSchool's previous and current work.
Initiative 1: Align Faculty Resources with Strategic Goals
Address research and teaching needs associated with the areas of strategic visibility, support of current areas of strength, and academic program growth and transformation while expanding the iSchool’s diversity and hiring the appropriate combination of professors and lecturers.
Initiative 2: Align Supporting Faculty Work with iSchool Goals
Assess and refine policies, procedures, and practices related to supporting faculty work and align them with achieving iSchool goals for growth and partnerships while ensuring excellence in teaching, enhancing faculty engagement in cutting-edge research, and expanding diversity in iSchool curriculum.
Initiative 3: Expand the Informatics Program
Matriculate 175 students per year by 2015 to address demand and enhance the iSchool’s role in the UW educational mission, aligning growth with resources.
Initiative 4: Expand the PhD Program
Increase the size while maintaining the quality of the PhD program at a sustainable pace to support faculty research activity and serve the teaching assistant needs of the iSchool, aligning growth with resources.
Initiative 5: Sustain MSIM Program Growth
Continue the current growth plan for the MSIM program, matriculating 95 students per year by 2015, and adjust the mix of domestic, international, day and mid-career students to address demand, aligning growth with resources.
Initiative 6: Increase Engagement in the Online Learning Environment
Incorporate online learning tools into the curriculum to enhance the learning experience. Prepare faculty to be effective online educators. Participate as leaders across the university in online learning.
Initiative 7: Promote New Partnerships
Develop, cultivate and steward relationships with industry, non-profit organizations, governmental entities, libraries, other UW departments, and broader community stakeholders to strengthen the reputation and visibility of the iSchool. Be responsive to known and emerging industry and societal needs and enhance support for the iSchool’s research, innovation and student professional development activities.
Initiative 8: Develop Collaborative Research Efforts
Lead, cultivate and steward large-scale, collaborative research projects* to respond to significant real-world information challenges in order to increase the visibility and impact of iSchool work.
* Large-scale, collaborative research projects are defined as: research projects with multi-year funding of $500,000 or more per year with one or more collaborators from outside the iSchool with the iSchool as the project lead.