Friday, July 15, 2005

Open Letter to Dean Preece

While posted this morning, I didn't see my message on the CLIS list, so here it is. I'll have other posts on this.....

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Note to Students and Alumni
Date: Fri, 15 Jul 2005 07:38:36 -0400
From: Kevin Stone Fries
To: Jenny Preece
References: <>

Open Letter to Dean Preece

Dear Jenny:

Thank you for your community message. It's certainly not where I
personally wanted this flurry of dialogue to go in process or in
content. We not only had different hopes for the process or
methodology, but a different end-result in mind. iSchools and distance
education are going to be a dime a dozen, over the next couple of years
as the barriers to industry (captial equipment, like servers etc.)
continue to drop in price (and skilled labor gets harder to find???),
and no matter how good technology gets it will never equal human to
human real-time communication, probably. [I certainly was *not*
shopping for an iSchool or distance program, though looked at them when
I applied, though in other disciplines.] But communicators and
researchers have always had different skills and different careers as a
result. While skeptical about iSchools and distance education (not in
themselves but) as the engine to drive CLIS' competition with its peers
or desired peers, I hope you will take the teacher's role in this and
work to convince with the power of information, the benefits of your and
your group of colleagues vision for the future. It's no easy task.
The topical clusters (leadership, archives, egov) seemed like a good
model on which to found CLIS' future, and I hope the work on exploring
those possibilities can be salvaged in some way. I look forward to the
town hall meetings in the fall, and hope my work and school schedule
will enable my participation, and those of many many others. May I
suggest you establish a part of the CLIS website not as a subsitute for
human interaction, but as an aid to human interaction, to market your
idea and foster the interaction you hope to include students and alumni
in. The administration in the past has chosen not to use the website to
communicate the work of the College as an administrative unit to
students. I believe that the lack of an applicable infrastructure
greatly contributed to the outcome of this decision at every level, from
Dr. Destler to whomever you choose to end that list with..... :)

Please accept by best wishes for the College of Information Studies.

Kevin Fries

Having read the Dean's open letter, there are things that just don't add up for me like

* if we have so much support, why does the repetition of the threat to CLIS' existence always get mentioned in strategic places, and why was the decision to secret, and the options so narrow?

* too little research???? What about each Ph.D. student?

Obviously, this decision has been taken, but boy does it disappoint. Hopefully the communication served some purpose.


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