iSchool 2018

Strategic Plan Overview

 The University of Washington Information School (iSchool) is committed to ongoing strategic planning that aligns our focus and activities with the needs of the information and technology professions, trends in the information field, and the challenges of the economic realities facing higher education. “iSchool 2018” emphasizes the iSchool’s role in preparing the leaders and innovators of the 21st century global information economy and our commitment to making the world a better place.

The UW iSchool in 2018 — Vision

The following scenario describes our community’s vision for the iSchool in the year 2018.

Today, in 2018, the University of Washington Information School is widely recognized as an outstanding place to work and learn.  We support all members of our community, we celebrate our accomplishments, and we aspire to be a model for healthy work-life balance.  Faculty, staff and students regard the iSchool as a working and learning environment where they can achieve their full potential.  Diversity is integrated with our teaching, learning, research, recruitment and service.  Our mission, to “make information work,” is understood and highly valued.  So, too, is our commitment to making the world a better place for all people.

The iSchool is well-known and highly respected at the University of Washington as an innovator of higher education and for our research, academic and administrative collaborations across the University.  UW schools and colleges regard the iSchool as a model for supporting student learning and job placement, integrating international and online students, and providing opportunities for student involvement in research.  We demonstrate how, when necessary, technology and community spirit facilitate the effective accomplishment of our work across multiple locations, but we have plans to consolidate the iSchool to a single space on campus. 

Researchers world-wide in multiple domains seek collaborations with the iSchool because of the high quality and positive impact of our work.  Our corporate and community partners and our international colleagues understand the preeminence of the UW iSchool.  They know that iSchool graduates are the best prepared and most sought-after information and technology professionals in the field and that iSchool research is improving the lives of people locally and globally.  People want to employ our graduates because they are leaders and innovators.  Alumni demonstrate leadership in their careers as information professionals and are committed to supporting the iSchool community.

Today, when people think about the University of Washington, they think about its world-leading Information School.

The future of the UW iSchool is boundless!

Strategic Visibility

To achieve this vision for the future of the School, it is essential that our faculty and students are visibly and strategically engaged in solving information-related problems of social and economic significance.  Clear articulation of what makes the iSchool distinct, excellent and unique is becoming even more important with increased competition to attract top students to academic programs.  For public universities in particular, there is an increased expectation that higher education must contribute directly to solving pressing challenges as well as preparing students to be competitive in the workforce.  To differentiate our distinctive value and to advance our visibility and impact, the iSchool will invest in the development of four areas of strategic visibility:

Strategic Initiatives

iSchool 2018 also provides a blueprint for nine strategic initiatives that support the School’s areas of strategic visibility, fulfill our vision for the School in 2018 and achieve our goal of becoming the most outstanding place to work and learn.

Initiative 1. Enhance Faculty Renewal

Create an environment where the iSchool faculty and administration can effectively address research and teaching needs associated with the areas of strategic visibility, support current areas of strength, academic program growth and transformation, while expanding the iSchool’s diversity.

Initiative 2: Support Faculty Work

Ensure that the policies, procedures, and practices related to the implementation of “iSchool 2015 Initiative 2” (i2) appropriately support faculty work and align with achieving iSchool goals for growth and partnerships, while ensuring excellence in teaching.  Monitor and evaluate the impact of i2 on enhancing faculty engagement in cutting-edge research, and expanding innovative and diverse pedagogies and curriculum.  Revise and realign i2 policies, procedures, practices and resources to best support the work of iSchool faculty, if needed and appropriate to achieve intended outcomes.

Initiative 3: Increase Access to the Informatics Program

Effectively manage and sustain existing plans for growth of the iSchool’s Informatics Program (majors) focusing on excellence in terms of student learning experience, gender balance and engagement in research.  Expand the reach of Informatics to serve the needs of a broad range of students enrolled in majors across the University of Washington Campus.

Initiative 4: Align Ph.D. in Information Science Program Size to Faculty

Align the size and nature of the iSchool’s Ph.D. program to faculty research and teaching and iSchool resources.  Manage growth in the number of students enrolled in the iSchool’s Ph.D. Program, while maintaining excellence in terms of student learning experience.  

Initiative 5: Grow the Master of Science in Information Management (MSIM) Program

Address high demand through managed growth in the Full-time MSIM degree option, while sustaining quality, increasing the pool of domestic applications and focusing on excellence in terms of student learning experience. Ensure the sustainability of the Mid-Career MSIM degree option.  Strengthen the MSIM program’s responsiveness to the professional needs and directions of its students.

Initiative 6: Revitalize the Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) Program

Enhance the diversity and quality of the application pool for the MLIS program and renew our MLIS faculty in support of the iSchool’s strategic focus on the Future of Libraries. Integrate the online and on-campus student experience.

Initiative 7: Enhance iSchool Partnerships

Re-envision, revitalize, strengthen and grow the iSchool’s iAffiliates program.  Develop robust and mutually beneficial relationships with our community partners.  Support faculty work and our fundraising mission with high-level gifts and contracts.  Engage faculty more fully with the work of relationship building.

Initiative 8: Expand Research Productivity and Impact

Increase research productivity and impact in areas of inquiry that align with the iSchool 2018 areas of strategic visibility and other valuable research areas with limited external funding options.

Initiative 9: Support the Working Life of iSchool Staff

Make the iSchool an outstanding, highly effective and enjoyable workplace that supports our staff in their work, professional achievement and a healthy work-life balance.