Message From the Dean
Welcome! We’re the University of Maryland College of Information Studies – the iSchool. We’re cognitive scientists, computational scientists and engineers, designers, humanities scholars, library and information scientists, and social scientists. Together, we design, develop, and deploy innovative methods for information and technology to help people, both individually and collectively, as well as study the ways information is used and misused. We focus on information and technology for good.
Though we have faced many serious challenges these last two years, the University of Maryland and the iSchool have continued to advance our missions, and expand both the breadth and depth of the impact of our programs, research and partnerships. I’m thankful for the hard work of our faculty, staff, and students, and look forward to our continued success.
Overall, the last five years have been a period of rapid growth in the size and impact of the College. In 2016, we launched our first undergraduate program, the Bachelor of Science in Information Science (InfoSci). Now five years later, InfoSci is virtually tied for third at the University in terms of the number of students. The placement rate and starting salaries for InfoSci graduates are among the highest in the university. In addition, it is a diverse program: compared with STEM overall, InfoSci has a significantly higher percentage of female students and Black students, and except for the social sciences, a significantly higher percentage of Hispanic/Latinx students.
Of course, to accomplish this growth in our programs, we’ve needed to grow our faculty as well. Since 2016, we’ve gone from 34 to 75 faculty members, a growth of 120%. Our research expenditures have grown from $3.4 million in 2016 to over $6.5 million dollars in 2021. We’ve also increased our staff size from 21 to over 50 to support our increased impact on education, research, and partnerships.
Our excellence is being nationally recognized. In 2021, six of our young faculty members were awarded prestigious early-career grants from NSF and IMLS. Our Master of Library and Information Science program (the tenth largest graduate program at the University) rose in the US News rankings from tenth overall in 2016 to fourth in 2021. US News also ranked our MLIS program sixth in archival science, eighth in digital librarianship, and second in services for children and youth. This program is an exemplar both in teaching and research in justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion and in the positive use of information and technology.
What’s next for the College? We’re just now launching two new undergraduate programs: one on Technology and Information Design, and one with the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences on Social Data Science. We’re launching Master of Professional Studies programs in Gaming, Entertainment, and Media Analytics, and in Data Journalism. We’re launching professional certificate programs in Cyber Threat Intelligence, in E-government for Smart Cities, and in Information Risk, Privacy, and Security. Along with the four established and well-known centers (Advanced Information Collaboratory, Computational Linguistics and Information Processing Lab, HCI Lab, and Trace R&D Center), we’ve recently launched the Center for Archival Futures and the Maryland Center for Social Data Science. We’re working on growing our education and research efforts in cognitive security, in information visualization, and in information and technology for older adults.
You can learn more about the accomplishments of the College in 2020-2021 by reading our annual report.
Professor and Dean
University of Maryland