Magazine article American Libraries

Academe Mirrors Business World as Library Schools Face Reviews

Magazine article American Libraries

Academe Mirrors Business World as Library Schools Face Reviews

Article excerpt

Library schools at Syracuse University and the University of Iowa are under review as their parent organizations, mirroring the corporate world, engage in "strategic planning" and "downsizing" to grapple with economic factors and demographic changes in the student-age population.

Donald A. Marchand, dean of Syracuse's School of Information Studies (SIS), told AL the university's new chancellor ordered a review of all campus operations. "This is not a crisis decision," he said. The goal at Syracuse is to downsize undergraduate enrollment by 20%, to some 9,800 students, "in anticipation of the realities of dependence on the college-age population. Syracuse is tuition-driven."

Marchand emphasized that SIS, with some 500 students--including 97 undergraduates--in four degree programs, is perceived as a "viable" and an "emerging" school. "We're not closing," he said. "This is not even a program review. It's kind of traumatic for faculty and students, but this kind of change is something we need to go through."

In January 1992, Syracuse's chancellor will announce the campus-wide downsizing strategy. Units will have four to five years to implement the strategy.

Centrality the issue at Iowa

Carl F. Orgren, director of Iowa's School of Library and Information Science (SLIS), told AL the university is accelerating its strategic planning, begun in 1989, in order to "control its own destiny" instead of merely reacting to future conditions.

Orgren added, however, that in mid-September the Strategic Planning Steering Committee (made up of the president, four vice presidents, and one faculty member) "asked the College of Liberal Arts [CLA] to consider phasing out" the SLIS. …

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