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Journal Article

Organizational Realignment of LIS Programs in Academia: From Independent Standalone Units to Incorporated Programs

Charles R. Hildreth and Michael Koenig
Journal of Education for Library and Information Science
Vol. 43, No. 2 (Spring, 2002), pp. 126-133
DOI: 10.2307/40323973
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40323973
Page Count: 8
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Organizational Realignment of LIS Programs in Academia: From Independent Standalone Units to Incorporated Programs
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Abstract

This research includes both a descriptive and an exploratory study of seventeen library and information science (LIS) education academic units or programs that have been involved in mergers or administrative realignments that have positioned them in new organizational homes between the years 1982-2001. These LIS schools have been subject to a process that has moved them, willingly or not, from a status of relative independence and autonomy (and in many cases, cultural isolation), to that of partners in new alliances, or protected "adoptees" in new administrative and organizational homes. The authors wished to discover what took place, and learn of the conditions surrounding the merger or repositioning of the schools. We also wished to explore why these changes were implemented and to learn as much as possible about the outcomes of these developments. For the descriptive part of the study we relied on available documentation, often online, and telephone interviews with key participants in the mergers. Deans, directors, and senior faculty members were selected as a purposive sample for the exploratory, qualitative part of this study. A questionnaire consisting of twenty-three, mostly open-ended, questions was administered in telephone interviews. A follow-up brief questionnaire on specific outcomes was administered by email to the participants in the study. What we learned about the rationales, responses to, and outcomes of these mergers and realignments is reported here. While such mergers and relocations have been successful so far as survival strategies, many of the anticipated benefits have yet to be realized.

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