ORIENTATION: member benefits and responsibilities



iSchools Overview

The iSchools Organization was founded in 2005 by a small collective of Information Schools dedicated to advancing the information field in the 21st Century. The Organization seeks to maximize the visibility and influence of its member schools, and their interdisciplinary approaches to harnessing the power of information and technology, and maximizing the potential of humans. The iSchools believe that expertise in all forms of information is required for progress in science, business, education, and culture. This expertise must include understanding of the uses and users of information, the nature of information itself, as well as information technologies and their applications.

The iSchools has now grown into a large worldwide consortium. Our membership runs the gamut, from well-established information schools to those newly created or evolving from programs formerly focused on specific tracks such as information technology, library science, informatics, information science, and more. Each individual iSchool brings its own strengths and specializations to the Organization, and together we share a fundamental interest in the relationships between information, people, and technology.

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Organizational Leadership

The Board of Directors is the formal decision-making organ of the Organization. The Board of Directors consists of two groups: the Executive Committee and additional Boad members elected by region. Click here to view the current Board.

The Executive Committee consists of eight members: the current chair, the chair-elect, the past-chair, the treasurer, the chairs of each of the three regions, and ex officio the Executive Director. The Executive Committee works with the Executive Director in handling the ongoing business of the iSchools. The Board of Directors must approve broader decisions such as changes in the budget and membership. A majority of all members must approve any change in the dues or fundamental structural alterations and will elect the chair.

The distribution of the additional regional Board members is calculated using a formula that factors the number of schools in each region and their respective membership levels; membership levels are explained below.

The above governance model and representation formula was adopted at the iSchools 2018 Business Meeting, and is further explained in this news story.

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Membership Levels

iSchools memberships span six membership levels and also an associate level. All schools are expected to enroll at the highest level in accordance with the size, resources and structural limitations of their schools. Criteria for being recognized as an iSchool are not rigid, but members are expected to have substantial sponsored research activity, engagement in the training of future researchers (usually through an active, research-oriented doctoral program), and a commitment to progress in the information field. The goal of the membership levels is to reduce within-level variations and to make mentorship opportunities easier to establish. Schools are encouraged to move up in the membership hierarchy whenever it is appropriate to do so.

Membership levels:
Corresponding annual dues are shown in USD.

  • iCaucus ($5000)
  • Enabling ($4000)
  • Sustaining ($3000)
  • Supporting ($2000)
  • Basic ($1000)
  • Associate* ($300)

*The Associate category is for schools that are new, or may not meet the requirements for other levels. Associate members are included in discussions and meetings, but do not have a vote.

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Benefits and Resources

All iSchools members enjoy the following benefits:

Displaying the logo
iSchools members are entitled and encouraged to display the iSchools logo on their websites. This shows the world that you are part of a consortium of highly respected institutions, and a leader in the information field. Click here for logos and guidelines; you can share this link with your school’s webmaster.

Collaboration with peers
The iSchools maintain several mailing lists that let heads of schools collaborate with their colleagues regionally and worldwide. Heads of schools may designate a substitute representative to manage these communications if they wish (see below under Ongoing Participation/Substitute Representatives). There are also lists for the use of your faculty and staff. Details on mailing lists can be found on this password protected webpage. If you have forgotten the password, you can request it from any of the iSchools staff listed here.

Posting news to the iSchools website
Members can submit news items to our website, where it will be viewed by leading information scholars, researchers and practitioners worldwide. Click here for the news submission form; this link is also availble on our news page.

Posting of job opening
Member schools can advertise their job openings on the iSchools website, making them visible to a broad spectrum of scholars and researchers. Click here for the job-lising submission form; this link is also available on our jobs page.

Listing in the iSchools directory
All iSchools members are listed in our online membership directory. This is one of our most heavily trafficed webpages, used worldwide by people seeking highly regarded information schools in their area. Members can notify us of a changes to their directory listings by sending a message to contact@ischools.org.

Opportunities for students and faculty
The iSchools organization supports student achievement through our annual Doctoral Colloquium, Undergraduate Symposium, and Doctoral Dissertation Award, plus other special contests and mentoring opportunities that are announced from time to time. The organization also sponsors an Early Career Colloquium that provides insight and guidance to pre-tenure faculty and post-doctoral researchers.

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Ongoing Participation

Collaboration is at the heart of everything we do as an organization. All members are encouraged and expected to participate on an ongoing basis, specifically:

Online Discussions and Polls—Periodically, online meetings and/or polls will be initiated by the iSchools Chair, Executive Committee or Executive Director. All heads of schools are expected to review these materials and participate in any related online discussion or voting, as-appropriate. Click here for past reports.

Attendance at Annual Meetings—All heads of member schools are encouraged and expected to attend the annual iSchools business meeting, which is held in conjunction with the iConference and takes place in a different location every year. If the official head of a school cannot attend a particular meeting, this person may name a substitute who is a faculty member in active service and preferably part of the school’s leadership team.

Substitute Representatives— A school may petition the executive committee to accept a standing representative, who is not the head of the school, for a fixed period of up to two years, on the condition that person is empowered to act on behalf of the school in all iSchool matters. This individual will be added to the appropriate mailing lists, and also appear in our online membership address book. Substitute requests should be sent to the iSchools Executive Director.

iSchools Inc. is a collaborative organization, and we value the input of all our members. Click here to view past meeting minutes.

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Getting Started as a New Member: What we need from you

In order to participate and take advantage of the many benefits of iSchools membership, new members should do the following as soon as possible after their application has been approved:

Post the iSchools logo to your school website—Click here to view the logo guidelines; you should share this link with your school’s webmaster.

Confirm your member directory listing—Click here to view the directory and confirm that your school is listed properly. Corrections should be sent to contact@ischools.org.

Confirm your address book listing—Click here to view member address book. Note that this is a password-protected page. If you have forgotten the password, you can request it from any of the iSchools staff listed here.

Provide billing information—Every year we send out invoices for annual member dues; these will be sent directly to your primary email address. However, some schools have special billing requirements. If your school has any specific billing needs, send them to contact@ischools.org, with subject line “Billing address for invoices.”

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