Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Post Town Hall No. 1

I'm working on tapering off my Save Wasserman blog activities, but below is a recent CLIS list posting"inspired" by the Town Hall Meetings, for which Rob Jensen deserves much much credit [the meetings not the posting]. My posting on Tuesday about the "Space" Committee [quotations supplied by the committee] might go up later.

It was a very successful community meeting, perhaps, sadly enough, the most substantive communal and public give and take between administration and students about the program itself I have ever seen.

That being said, it was in whole unquestionably "the party line." Students were asked to accept a littany of inconsistent and unsupported assertions about budget, continued partial disclosure of activites --the CLIS list archives is now password protected--and methods of communication that are just about impossible to track.

It did not escape me that the Save Wasserman blog already provides a list of services valued at Wasserman from May graduates, a suggestion that was greeted with an enthusiastic response and that I offer to counter any who charges this site or I am only interested in trouble and not constructive contributions to the debate. The administration holds all the information of past committee reports, user statistics, faculty recommendations, budgets, so it's a difficult stance for anyone to partner with, I'd guess.

This morning's:

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Dean's Confusion on Dissemination of I-School Definition
Date: Wed, 14 Sep 2005 08:06:22 -0400
From: Kevin Stone Fries

Dear Colleagues,

Jenny's comments at the Town Hall Meeting about being surprised people
weren't sure what she meant about I-schools because she had a single
minute-long or so conversation with me about it seemed odd, so to
clarify, I infact *posted* publicly some information to my peers and let
her have space as the authority on her own school's listserv to address
her student's honest question. The best I can do in this framed
dialogue, I did weeks ago, and if you're interested, please read the
posting, with links, below.

The range and depth of the issues, and at times passion of
conversations, over this loss of student resources makes keeping
conversation timely and relevent very difficult for all parties. We
have moved into the "solution" phase, and I wish those with a role
success in making the best of an extremely unfortunate position. As one
student observed/questioned at the meeting, "Isn't closing Wasserman
just a band aid?" So there's lots to do, and I'm happy to turn my
attention after three months finally to my studies, where I'm sure all
parties agree they belong.

Kevin Fries
CLIS '05


To Be Posted

It's also good to see that Mara and I are still collecting signatories to our letter. I have never seen myself in this situation as a diplomat, that's absurd really given the aggressive stance I knowingly took from the beginning, but rather as an advocate in a community that discusses but does not always model advocacy.

I think there's plenty here to show what not to do. I hope the hundreds of current and future information professionals of all stripes truly grapple with the questions related to being quiet, slightly vocal, as well as outright radical advocates for the profession because if there's anything I'm taking away from this is that even in the places that you'd think wouldn't need advocacy and "teaching moments", they are in fact most beneficial.

Best to one and all.....


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