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Provost Announces Reorganization of School of Informatics

By Arthur Page

Release Date: June 16, 2006

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The University at Buffalo's Department of Communication and Department of Library and Information Studies, the two departments that constitute the UB School of Informatics, will have new administrative homes beginning this fall.

The Department of Communication will return to the College of Arts and Sciences and the Department of Library and Information Studies will become part of the Graduate School of Education.

"Through the course of the natural evolution of the university we are always looking at the best way to align and integrate strategically our academic programs and academic support services to best fulfill the university's mission of teaching, research and public service," said Satish K. Tripathi, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs.

The School of Informatics originally was conceived as constituting the departments of computer science and engineering, media study and communication, and the School of Information and Library Studies. Subsequently, in 1999, only the Department of Communication and the School of Information and Library Studies merged to create the School of Informatics.

"This administrative change provides a more robust context for our faculty in the Department of Communication and Department of Library and Information Studies to collaborate across departments so that their educational and research objectives and potential may be fulfilled," said Tripathi.

"Undergraduate and graduate courses and academic degree programs, including the degree programs in informatics, that are administered in the departments of Communication and Library and Information Studies will continue to be offered in their new administrative homes," he added. "It is our expectation that not only will these academic programs continue in their current manifestation, but that they will progress and flourish, moving into the ranks of nationally recognized degree programs."

Tripathi further indicated that the informatics degree programs will continue to be offered and that relevant administrative details related to the organizational realignment will be addressed by Interim Dean Lucinda M. Finley, in consultation with the faculty of the departments of Communication and Library and Information Studies.

Administrative changes will not impact current or incoming students. The reorganization will be communicated to students in coming weeks.

Tripathi met Wednesday with faculty and staff in the School of Informatics to discuss the reorganization. He today made the announcement that the reorganization will proceed after meeting with Frank E. Tutzauer, associate professor and chair of the Department of Communication, and Judith Robinson, professor and chair of the Department of Library and Information Studies. Faculty and staff in the two departments received a communication from Tripathi informing them of the decision.

The organizational realignment is expected to be completed by the conclusion of the Fall 2006 semester.

Tripathi announced last week that after serving five years as dean of the School of Informatics, W. David Penniman had agreed to return to the faculty.

Finley, vice provost for faculty affairs and Frank Raichle Professor of Trial and Appellate Advocacy in the UB Law School, will serve as interim dean until the administrative reorganization is completed.