Inspiration, innovation and impact. We’ve come to expect them from our alumni, our faculty and our students. Today, we launch a new campaign that will help to ensure they continue at UMSI. The UMSI Campaign, part of the university’s Victors for Michigan drive, will ensure the continuing success of the school for years to come – with your help.

UMSI alumni worldwide break new ground, achieve the top levels of their fields, and innovate in ways that we could not have foreseen even twenty years ago. The innovation and impact of their work is felt in every corner of our fields.

Take John Szabo, who has led the Los Angeles Public Library to new heights. Or Louis Rosenfeld, one of the founders of the modern field of information architecture, who with Peter Morville wrote the seminal “polar bear book” on IA for O’Reilly, now carried by the next generation of students. Or even further back, Clara Stanton Jones, who broke the glass ceiling and cultural barriers to become the first African-American woman to head up a major public library, not to mention the American Library Association.

We’re on a mission: we create and share knowledge so that people will use information — with technology — to build a better world. And that’s been our mission since the founding of the Department of Library Science at U-M in 1926.

Our faculty know that every day in the classroom, they could be inspiring the next Szabo, Rosenfeld or Jones. And they’re up to the challenge: the men and women at the front of our classrooms routinely win local and national instructional awards, are named movers and shakers in their fields, eagerly jump into new arenas and help people see the intersection of information, technology and people in a new light. Chuck Severance and Lada Adamic became two of the first faculty members at the University of Michigan to offer online courses via Coursera, and they have collectively taught hundreds of thousands of students on six continents. Dragomir Radev and Kristin Fontichiaro both recently took home teaching awards, inspiring students in fields ranging from data analysis to school library media.

And those students have taken the baton and are running with it. Before they even leave their tenure here, all of them have given of themselves, for a week or a summer, making a real-life difference in communities around the world. They’ve rebuilt the national archives of Uganda, made apps for the Peace Corps, digitized Shakespeare.

We invite you to take a look at the UMSI Campaign website and learn more about their stories. Let them inspire you to make your own impact: join us, in our vision. The University of Michigan School of Information delivers innovative, elegant and ethical solutions connecting people, information and technology. When there is a need for world-changing information discoveries, we will be there – with your help.

Jeff MacKie-Mason

Dean, School of Information, University of Michigan;
Arthur W. Burks Professor of Information and Computer Science;
Professor of Economics and Public Policy