UMD iSchool Vision, Diversity, and History
TerrapinSTRONG is a shared vision for the entire campus community — a shared understanding and set of values from which we work to improve the sense of community, connection, and inclusion on our campus.
We envision a world where information and technology break down barriers and creates exciting new possibilities so that individuals, communities, and organizations can explore their full potential and enjoy an enriched quality of life – a world where information and technology can be fully leveraged to solve real-world problems and foster a culture of trust and respect.
We improve lives and opportunities for people through information. With groundbreaking research and innovative academic programs, we strengthen information institutions, foster responsible information use, increase information reliability, and ensure equitable access to information. We harness data and technology for social, economic, and environmental good. We prepare the next generation of information professionals and thought leaders. We harness information for the benefit of all.
The UMD iSchool’s 2019 strategic plan identifies four focus areas to guide research and academic growth:
- Support information institutions and infrastructures
- Increase trustworthy information
- Democratize discovery
- Support data and tech for social good
Diversity & Inclusion at the iSchool
With a history of activism, the UMD iSchool continues today to champion accessibility, diversity, inclusion, and democratization of information. Our faculty, staff, and students, who come to us from over 49 countries, create a welcoming and encouraging environment. Diversity and inclusion is central to the mission of the school and is seen across courses, research, scholarship, events, and community development.
Every community owes its existence and strength to the generations before them, around the world, who contributed their hopes, dreams, and energy into making the history that led to this moment.
Truth and acknowledgement are critical in building mutual respect and connections across all barriers of heritage and difference.
So, we acknowledge the truth that is often buried: We are on the ancestral lands of the Piscataway People, who are the ancestral stewards of this sacred land. It is their historical responsibility to advocate for the four-legged, the winged, those that crawl and those that swim. They remind us that clean air and pristine waterways are essential to all life.
This Land Acknowledgement is a vocal reminder for each of us as two-leggeds to ensure our physical environment is in better condition than what we inherited, for the health and prosperity of future generations.
History & Timeline
We are proud of our 50+ years of educating and providing thought leadership for information professionals.
The broader climate of the University of Maryland is notable for its inclusiveness. The University was recognized by INSIGHT into Diversity Magazine as one of the national leaders in higher education for diversity and inclusion, receiving the 2015 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award. UMD was also named a Top 25 LGBT-Friendly Campus by Campus Pride for the fourth year in a row.
At the College of Information Studies (iSchool), we have a long history of activism for diversity and inclusion. Today, this has created a culture of inclusion as well as academic and research programs that focus on social responsibility and community good. The iSchool prepares students to begin their careers ready to meet the myriad challenges of diversity and inclusion.