Director's Note | Fall 2023
The fall season is upon us and the crispness in the air is lending to a “can do” spirit here at the iSchool. Fall brings a time of reflection as we take stock of all that was accomplished over the spring and summer term as we enter the remaining term of 2023.
This academic year we began witnessing the positive outcomes of a focus on curriculum innovation and continuous improvement in our academic pathways. The awarding of CAHIIM accreditation for our Master of Science in Health Informatics and the successful launch of two new concentrations in medical librarianship and archival studies in our Master of Library and Information Science degree program were created after thorough analysis of our curriculum and input from our iSchool community. This past year, we also launched a newly revised and refined Master of Science in Knowledge Management and conducted a thorough program review for our remaining Master of Science Degree program in User Experience. Program changes stemmed from in depth data gathering and surveying our iSchool community of faculty, students, advisory board members and alumni.
Entering my third year as Director, I am pleased to note that a commitment to an ethic of care with the goal of being a compassionate and courageous leader has fostered many collaborations that have ultimately led to enhanced opportunities for students. This has allowed them to acquire resources that holistically support their academic journey and to further their studies with additional financial support. For iSchool faculty and staff it has created a robust system of communication and promoted a culture of compassion and kindness.
This year, my overarching focus for supporting faculty and students is to inspire and facilitate intentional activities that reflect a pedagogy of kindness in the iSchool. For iSchool faculty, explorations of enhancing our teaching and learning with a pedagogy of kindness philosophy is ongoing through sharing of resources, discussions and through our biannual pedagogy events we host for all iSchool faculty. A pedagogy of kindness suggests that we approach all situations with a lens of compassion and trust. Likewise, students are integral to fostering a teaching and learning environment that is inclusive and supportive for all learners.
While the world may seem overwhelming, I am reminded that continuing with intentionality to promote kindness, understanding and compassion is essential to creating a more inclusive and peaceful world. Archbishop Desmond Tutu recommends, “Do your little bit of good where you are, it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”