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School of Information Sciences and Dept. of Computer Science Invited to Join Forces as One New Academic Unit at Pitt

On April 10, 2015, the Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor, Patricia Beeson, met with the faculty and staff from the School of Information Sciences and the Department of Computer Science to invite them to develop a proposal that will incorporate both into a single academic and administrative unit. This request was motivated by the widely held belief that the University of Pittsburgh’s institutional strength in this increasingly important area of inquiry could be enhanced through a structure that allows for greater integration and coordination of its research and academic programs.

The School of Information Sciences’ Dean, Ronald L. Larsen, has been tasked with leading the faculty and staff of the School of Information Sciences and the Department of Computer Science in taking a broad look at the University’s strengths, opportunities, and needs in this area, and developing a proposal that will significantly advance the University’s efforts by consolidating academic programs, capitalizing on existing strengths, enhancing collaborations, and creating an intellectual hub for computing and information sciences at the University of Pittsburgh.

A change like the one contemplated here will require broad consultation both in terms of the strategic vision for the new unit and the impact on faculty, staff, students, and programs. In addition to consultation with colleagues in units with joint academic programs, these discussions will likely engage other colleagues at the University and in the region, as well as national and international experts who may be able to help structure a plan that will allow the University to achieve its ambitions in this area.

Any new academic structure will require review by the appropriate School- and University-wide governance processes. With this in mind, all parties have been asked to work together toward submitting a proposal to the Chancellor’s office by the end of the next academic year.