Five academic units from three different colleges at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa are combining this fall to establish the School of Communication and Information (SCI) within the College of Social Sciences (CSS). The units, which have related yet distinct approaches to communication and information, are:
- The Communication (COM) program, formerly in the School of Communications in CSS.
- The Communicology (COMG) program, formerly in the College of Arts, Languages and Letters.
- The Journalism (JOUR) program, formerly in the School of Communications in CSS.
- The Library and Information Science (LIS) program, formerly in the Department of Information and Computer Sciences in the College of Natural Sciences.
- The Matsunaga Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution, formerly in the Public Policy Center in CSS.
“This faculty-driven reorganization effort brings together units from across campus to leverage synergies and interdisciplinary opportunities for students interested in these fields,” said CSS Dean Denise Eby Konan. “It will allow them to explore the complexities of communication in one school to meet personal, relational, professional and community needs.”
Consultation of individuals and groups impacted by the proposed reorganization occurred from fall 2020 to fall 2021. The faculty-led working group reorganization team shared information and met with various units and constituencies across campus, set up a website for announcements and feedback, and held a series of town hall meetings. Faculty, staff and students have expressed enthusiastic support for the new school.
SCI is fundamentally concerned with the study of communication, including the creation and flow of information among people and communities, through media and technologies, and across time and cultures. The new school will help students to acquire the knowledge, skills and ethical perspectives to create, gather, analyze and share information. SCI graduates will have the tools and perspectives to solve problems by combining multiple approaches within the realm of communication and information.
“UH Mānoa students will now learn about communication from several distinct disciplinary perspectives,” said Colin Moore, inaugural SCI chair. “Students interested in all aspects of communication—from speech and persuasion, to technologies that facilitate communication, to how information is organized, to how it is reported by journalists—can take classes across disciplines without having to search through different colleges.”
With the support of UH Mānoa Provost Michael Bruno, UH President David Lassner signed the reorganization proposal this past summer, making it effective July 2022. SCI will be in a transition phase for the next academic year.
For more, see the College of Social Sciences website.