School of Digital Sciences to join College of Communication and Information
At its spring meeting, the Kent State University Board of Trustees approved the integration of the School of Digital Sciences (DSCI) into the College of Communication and Information (CCI) effective July 1, 2017. By adding the School of Digital Sciences to its family of schools, CCI becomes the only college in the nation that combines a mix of digital sciences, visual communication design, journalism, information sciences and communication studies in its core curriculum.
“Over the past decade, digital technologies have transformed the disciplines in our college,” CCI Dean Amy Reynolds, Ph.D., said. “This is significant because the growth of colleges of communication and information are on the rise at top-tier, research-intensive universities. The digital sciences integration provides CCI and Kent State the opportunity to immediately emphasize and expand their reputations as national thought leaders in our specialties.”
The School of Digital Sciences was established in Fall 2011 at Kent State as an independent, interdisciplinary school using faculty members from colleges across the university to teach its courses, instead of having its own permanent faculty. This model allowed students to take selected classes from other programs as part of their digital sciences major.
“The School of Digital Sciences will continue to function as an interdisciplinary unit across campus, as CCI will work with other colleges to enhance the existing partnerships and programs,” Reynolds said. “This realignment of DS within the university’s standard academic administrative structure is really an effort to utilize resources more efficiently to meet the needs of our students.”
The addition of DSCI to the college allows CCI to build across its own existing programs – particularly in the areas of information science, data science, knowledge management, user experience design, health informatics, organizational communication, global communication, visual communication design, media and journalism – while maintaining the interdisciplinary nature of digital science. DSCI will benefit from the integration by better incorporating CCI’s expertise in communication, information, design thinking, the social consequences of technology and its impact on the public good and civil society.
“Having CCI as our School’s administrative home will allow us to further develop both our undergraduate and graduate degree programs,” said Jeff Fruit, the interim director of DSCI. “We will not only be able to enhance some strong existing interdisciplinary collaborations, but also build new ones.”
Reynolds added, “In other words, DSCI enhances CCI’s pursuit of the interdisciplinary study of digital technologies, while CCI enhances digital sciences’ interest in providing context and expertise about the relationship between society, information, communication, technology and people. This move is a win-win for all involved.”