As of August 18, 2008, I will be an Assistant Professor at SOIS, with teaching responsibilities focusing on its undergraduate Bachelor of Science in Information Resources, and my research will be aligned with the Information Policy concentration of its new Ph.D. in Information Studies. I also will be affiliated with the Center for Information Policy Research.
On a personal note, it is hard for me to express/contain my excitement about joining SOIS. Here are just a few of the reasons for my euphoria:
- SOIS has an informal slogan referred to as I3 — “Information is our focus; International is our scope; Interdisciplinary is our mindset” I couldn’t think of a better framing of my own intellectual work. SOIS’s mission and goals are equally on par with my personal aspirations for my work.
- I look forward to helping SOIS ensure it meets the high standards within its research philosophy: We at SOIS understand that at the heart of our research lies curiosity, tenacity, commitment and creativity – all traits of our faculty members. By doing research we contribute to the international body of knowledge that can make a difference in the lives of people. We therefore firmly believe that our research: helps to provide solutions to problems; creates opportunities for people; and brings hope for the future.
- SOIS is committed to a rich research profile that compliments my own broad research interests, including information law & policy, information ethics, history of information technology and systems, Internet information search & utilization, and the information society.
- SOIS has a world class faculty, and recently has been ranked No. 1 nationally among schools of library and information science for contributions to its university’s overall research output. This prestigious honor marks the second time in two years that a national publication has ranked SOIS as a leading school of library and information science: SOIS was also ranked among the top library and information science schools in the U.S. in scholarly productivity.
- SOIS is home to the Center for Information Policy Research, directed by Elizabeth Buchanan. CIPR’s research agenda revolves around social, ethical, economic, legal, and technical aspects of information and information technologies with a focus on such key information policy issues as intellectual property (copyright, patents, etc.), privacy, equity of access to information, ethics of information use and service, censorship, cyberlaw, and government, corporate, and international information policies. CIPR also has close affiliations with the International Society for Ethics and Information Technology, the International Center for Information Ethics, ASIS&T’s special interest group in Information Policy, and AoIR’s ethics working group.
- Finally, joining SOIS means not only will I be returning to where I started my graduate education (working with Prof. David Pritchard in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication), but that I’m also returning home. After 7 years in New York City, it will be nice to come back to Wisconsin, actually purchase a home, have ready access to Leinenkugels at bratwurst (both almost impossible to find in NYC), and be closer to family (Ethan’s grandparents are perhaps more excited that I am).
I have been lucky throughout my (young) academic career to have benefited from associations with amazing faculty, colleagues, and friends at the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at NYU (especially Helen Nissenbaum), and more recently at the Information Society Project at Yale Law School. I honestly can’t think of a better place to continue my academic adventures than at SOIS.
(ps – for those who want a taste of the kind of work SOIS/CIPR is committed to, check out its upcoming conference: Thinking Critically: Alternative Perspectives and Methods in Information Studies. Hope to see you there!)