At the request of President Helen Drinan, GSLIS recently convened a special Blue Ribbon Panel of 17 esteemed professionals in higher education and LIS fields. The purpose of this panel, which met in January, was to consider how best to position GSLIS to contribute to the overall mission of Simmons and Strategy 2015.
Working together, Provost Charlena Seymour and GSLIS Dean Michele Cloonan created the program for the Blue Ribbon Panel, which included academics from Harvard University, MIT, Brown University, and Syracuse University, as well as experts representing a variety of diverse fields including social media and architecture. The goal was to learn from the panelists new and creative ways by which to successfully prepare LIS students for the future of their professions.
During the program, participants were asked to identify notable strengths of GSLIS. These included: history and reputation of GSLIS; solid, nurturing environment for students; location; great focus on internships; and the alumni network.
Some considerations for “planned abandonment” included: merging of Ph.D. programs; focus on strongest niches; and consideration of in-class vs. online offerings. The panelists also offered suggestions for potential new directions/offerings including: creating a global consortium of programs; a new degree in libraries, archives, and museums; and an Institute for Librarianship.
The group came up with many other suggestions; GSLIS is preparing a final report that will be completed soon.