The University Record, February 27, 1996

Name Changes on tap for School of Art, SILS

By Joanne Nesbit
News and Information Services


What’s in a name? Something very important when one considers name change requests from two Ann Arbor campus units that will be on the Regents’ agenda for their regular monthly meeting March 14-15.

The School of Art and the School of Information and Library Studies (SILS) have petitioned the Regents for name changes. Those petitions will be heard at the Regents m eeting March 15.

Nearing its 70th year of educationg professionals, the School of Information and Library Studies finds its mission broadening to achieve a multi-disciplinary and integrated understanding of human needs and their relationships to information systems and social structures. The unprecedented change in the use of information in reshaping personal activities, community and organizational practices, and national and global institutions requires that students and faculty engage in a broad range of perspectiv es and interests that will forge a new body of theory, principles, and practices from the best of past and present scholarship in library and information science, computer sciences, the humanities, and the social sciences.

Petitioning to change its name to the School of Information, SILS Dean Daniel E. Atkins says: "The School of Information will pioneer the development and application of unifying principles that illuminate the role of information in both computation an d cognition, in both communication and community. The school will educate professionals to lead in the information age."

Because the name School of Art no longer reflects the range of the field, the scope of the work, the role the School intends to play, or the distinction it hopes to achieve, a change to The School of Art and Design has been requested.

The unit’s goal is to become the focal point for intellectual inquiry carried out through visual means-inquiry that results in art, designs-and visual principles that can contribute to scholarship and creative work in virtually every one of the Univers ity’s disciplines.

Emerging technologies are fueling the creation of new artistic forms, media and venues, notes SoA Dean Allen J. Samuels. And new collaborations are leading to a greater role for and appreciation of art and design in a variety of disciplines.

"Obviously, a name change is not the basis for real distinction," Samuels says. "It will be the students and faculty who, by sharing our mssion, will sustain and distinguish this school. We feel strongly, however, that the name change is an important symbolic step in our comprehensive plan to transform our school into a leader in visual studies education in this country and abroad."