Intellectual Diversity in the iSchools: Past, Present and Future
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Intellectual Diversity in the iSchools: Past, Present and Future

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The intellectual demographics of the iSchools Caucus as of 2009 demonstrates considerable diversity in faculty's disciplinary backgrounds.

The intellectual demographics of the iSchools Caucus as of 2009 demonstrates considerable diversity in faculty's disciplinary backgrounds.

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  • Show variations in intellectual makeup of the iSchools and have a discussion about it - not about what we think but what we all think. Builds on MSI thesis, but completely refocused.
  • Builds on 2007 MSI thesis at Michigan, refocuses on intellectual diversity instead of network structure.
  • Studying intellectual communities usually focuses on prestige and contribution, standard ways about thinking about intellectual environments. Also other perspectives like epistemic communities, doesn’t bear on what we’re interested in so much as what iSchools are interested in.

Intellectual Diversity in the iSchools: Past, Present and Future Intellectual Diversity in the iSchools: Past, Present and Future Presentation Transcript

  • Intellectual Diversity in iSchools: Past, Present and Future Andrea Wiggins & Steve Sawyer 4 February, 2010
  • Today
    • iSchools
      • Prior work
      • Disciplinary background of faculty
    • Insights
      • Historical influences
      • Faculty composition
    • Implications and speculations
  • Prior Work
    • Studies of academic unit’s intellectual composition usually focus on prestige
      • Social structure (and status) is slow to change in most academic disciplines
      • iSchools are new and fast-changing…
    • Little empirical research on iSchools
      • Sampling can significantly misrepresent; census is needed to adequately describe
  • Methods
    • Census of 21 members of iSchools Caucus
      • Data collected for full-time professorial faculty
      • Secondary data from web sources
      • Faculty population:
        • 674 in January 2007; 769 in January 2009
        • 70 of 95 from addition of CMU (41) & Singapore (29)
    • Classification adapted from “Classification of Instructional Programs” scheme …
  • 2009 Disciplinary Areas Area N (%) Component Areas Computing 233 (30%) Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Mathematics Information 88 (11%) Information Science, Information Studies, Information Transfer, Communication Information and Library Studies Library 79 (10%) Library Science, Information and Library Science, Library and Information Science Social & Behavioral 78 (10%) Psychology, Sociology, Social Sciences Management & Policy 70 (9%) Business, Management, Policy, Economics Science & Engineering 69 (9%) Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, Statistics, Engineering (not electrical) Education 58 (8%) Education Humanities 54 (7%) History, Philosophy, Literature, Multi & Interdisciplinary Studies Communication 40 (5%) Communication
  • 2009 Intellectual Demographics Area of Study Berkeley Carnegie Mellon Drexel Florida State Georgia Tech Indiana Info Indiana SLIS Pittsburgh Penn State Rutgers Singapore Syracuse UC Irvine UCLA U Illinois U Maryland U Michigan U North Carolina U Texas Austin U Toronto Washington Computing 39% 10% 27% 8% 79% 59% 9% 28% 16% 4% 70% 3% 75% 2% 7% 11% 24% 12% 9% 16% 16% Information 19% 12% 1% 4% 17% 24% 11% 19% 22% 2% 2% 27% 39% 11% 28% 18% 28% 23% Library 11% 12% 27% 2% 22% 10% 4% 9% 8% 30% 11% 11% 48% 36% 15% 29% Social & Behavioral 22% 17% 12% 8% 1% 5% 22% 10% 16% 17% 16% 6% 19% 13% 11% 16% 5% 7% Management & Policy 17% 61% 8% 12% 21% 20% 34% 2% 6% 21% 5% 10% Science & Engineering 6% 2% 8% 8% 12% 21% 21% 24% 6% 10% 3% 18% 2% 3% 8% 4% 7% Education 2% 4% 8% 4% 2% 13% 3% 5% 4% 6% 51% 11% 3% 4% 4% 3% Humanities 6% 7% 8% 12% 4% 7% 17% 3% 3% 4% 10% 20% 11% 11% 18% 24% 3% Communication 4% 23% 2% 5% 41% 6% 6% 3% 3% 9% 8% 3% Total 18 41 26 26 84 61 23 29 38 48 29 32 67 67 30 18 38 25 22 25 31
  • Past: Intellectual Heritage
    • Computing dominates: 30% overall
      • But 111/ 233 at either GA Tech or UC Irvine
    • Five other “cores”, fairly evenly distributed
      • Library, information, management & policy, science & engineering, social & behavioral
    • Breadth from organizational emergence
      • Rutgers: brings communication presence
      • UCLA: elevates role of education
      • Evidence of “local logics” in hiring
  • Future: Intellectual Agenda
    • Mergers as a source of growth
      • Communications, e.g. Florida State
      • Information Systems (compatible interests)?
    • Identity shift from “library” (explicit) to “information” (implicit), not just at iSchools
    • Given current diversity and local interests, intellectual homogenization not a threat
      • PhD placement reflects intellectual diversity
  • 2009 Intellectual Demographics Area of Study Berkeley Carnegie Mellon Drexel Florida State Georgia Tech Indiana Info Indiana SLIS Pittsburgh Penn State Rutgers Singapore Syracuse UC Irvine UCLA U Illinois U Maryland U Michigan U North Carolina U Texas Austin U Toronto Washington Computing 39% 10% 27% 8% 79% 59% 9% 28% 16% 4% 70% 3% 75% 2% 7% 11% 24% 12% 9% 16% 16% Information 19% 12% 1% 4% 17% 24% 11% 19% 22% 2% 2% 27% 39% 11% 28% 18% 28% 23% Library 11% 12% 27% 2% 22% 10% 4% 9% 8% 30% 11% 11% 48% 36% 15% 29% Social & Behavioral 22% 17% 12% 8% 1% 5% 22% 10% 16% 17% 16% 6% 19% 13% 11% 16% 5% 7% Management & Policy 17% 61% 8% 12% 21% 20% 34% 2% 6% 21% 5% 10% Science & Engineering 6% 2% 8% 8% 12% 21% 21% 24% 6% 10% 3% 18% 2% 3% 8% 4% 7% Education 2% 4% 8% 4% 2% 13% 3% 5% 4% 6% 51% 11% 3% 4% 4% 3% Humanities 6% 7% 8% 12% 4% 7% 17% 3% 3% 4% 10% 20% 11% 11% 18% 24% 3% Communication 4% 23% 2% 5% 41% 6% 6% 3% 3% 9% 8% 3% Total 18 41 26 26 84 61 23 29 38 48 29 32 67 67 30 18 38 25 22 25 31