LISNews is reporting that the School of Informatics at Buffalo is being dissolved. The school was only seven years old, and was apparently the merger of various departments including LIS and Communications. It’s kind of hard to say why exactly the school is being shuffled to other departments- there’s a new president, some of the existing faculty may have not been happy with the direction of the school, and so on. Some faculty are understandably upset by this unexpected news. I’m not certain if this means anything for schools of Informatics or Information, except perhaps some faculty members will be looking to relocate.
The Daily Texan recently provided an editorial on open records at UT, involving the now-being-formed University College. Wait, now it’s the Baccalaureate College. The end of the article notes that not all emails were provided- only the emails sent to the entir committee involved with the formation of the college were handed over, in print form. Records at UT are interesting. There’s a records retention office, but it’s located out of the accounting department. The fully-funded position of a University Archivist no longer exists. Some records-related issues (like SSN remediation) are handled by Information Technology staff (that does include me at the school level). The state records retention laws are not really sufficient to deal with universities, especially given the complexities that universities have involving the intellectual property of faculty members and the ways that public universities in Texas are funded. It’s difficult to say what qualifies as a record based on existing state law. The state officials think the law is all-encompassing, and other officials seem to disagree with that interpretation. Electronic records add complexity to the issue, given the lack of electronic records infrastructure. The state hasn’t really come up with solutions, either. Part of the problem is that people are treating electronic records as a new problem that will be solved by the swooping in of some easy to use and affordable technology. That’s not going to happen. Several of the current problems involving electronic records have nothing to do with technology at all.