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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Membership Tiers

Your school has been accepted into the iSchools at one of four levels, specifically tiers 1 through 3, and also an associate level. Criteria for being recognized as an iSchool are not rigid, but schools in Tiers 1-3 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 tiers is to reduce within-tier 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.

Tier 1 Membership (iCaucus)—This is the permanent membership tier of the iCaucus, and all have voting authority. Many of these institutions are among the founders of the iSchools Organization, others were added on the basis of their similarity to the early group, and all are willing to support the enterprise at the $5000 per annum rate. They all have well-established PhD programs and large amounts of external research money. An institution can only be admitted as a permanent member to Tier 1 by vote of the Tier 1 members. Elected members from other tiers are voting members of the iCaucus while serving their terms.

Tier 2 Membership (mid-level)—This level is based on reasonable degrees of similarity to Tier 1, particularly multiple programs with a broad reach beyond their original core, with known doctoral programs, and with significant research income. These institutions should be able to support the iSchools with dues of $1000 per annum and will elect one voting representative to the iCaucus for every five institutions in Tier 2. Tier 2 institutions have a reasonable expectation of being able to join Tier 1 at some future time, should they wish.

Tier 3 Membership (basic level)—These are institutions having at least a three-year old doctoral program with graduates, substantial external research funding, and a positive reputation. The dues are $500 per annum. Tier 3 institutions are able to elect one voting representative to the iCaucus for every ten members.

Associate Membership—This category is for schools that are new, or may not meet the requirements for other tiers. Associate members pay $300 per annum and have no official representation in the iCaucus, but are included in mailing lists and may participate actively in regional meetings.

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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 provides a mailing list that lets you collaborate with your fellow deans and heads of schools. We have other lists to support your faculty and staff, allowing them to share information peers at other schools. Guidelines and subscriptiong requests are available on our Mailing Lists page.

Posting news to the iSchools website
Member-schools 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 membership directory. This is one of our most heavily trafficed webpages, used worldwide by people seeking highly regarded information schools in their area. You can notify us of a change to your schools URL by sending a message to contact@ischools.org.

Opportunities for students
The iSchools organization supports student achievement through our annual Doctoral Colloquium and Doctoral Dissertation Award, plus other special contests and mentoring opportunities that will be announced from time to time.

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Ongoing Participation

Collaboration is at the heart of everything the iSchools does 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 iCaucus 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 expected to attend the annual iSchools meetings in person. Substitutions are discouraged, and must be cleared in advance with the iCaucus chair and iSchools executive director. The annual meetings are held during the iConference, which takes place in a different location every year. The iSchools is a collaborative organization, and we value the input of all our members. Click here to view past minutes.

If you have been admitted as a Tier 1 (iCaucus) member, the annual-meeting attendance-requirement is more clearly defined. iCaucus members may send a substitute to the annual business meeting only under the following conditions: 1) the member has a legitimate written excuse (illness, family illness, local crisis) for missing the meeting, OR 2) the member is not a native speaker of English and is not comfortable engaging in discussions in that language, AND 3) the iCaucus Chair approves. In all cases the substitute must be fully authorized to make decisions on behalf of their school.

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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:

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

Provide contact names for iSchools mailing lists—As head of school you have already been placed on our iDeans mailing list. We ask that you also provide the following for our ancillary mailing lists:

  • Personal Assistant to the Head of School
  • Research Dean/Head of Research
  • Ph.D. Program Chair/Director
  • Marketing and Communications Professional
  • Advancement/Development/Fund-Raising Professional

These names and email addresses should be sent to contact@ischools.org, with subject line “Names for iSchools Lists.” Alternatively, you can direct your faculty and staff to the subscription links on our mailing list page. We realize that our member schools have differing faculty and staff hierarchies; please provide one name per category for all of the above that apply to your school.

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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