On January 2nd 2007, I accepted a position as Director of Online Technology at Northern Kentucky University’s College of Informatics. This role is exciting from the standpoint that the College is brand new, fusing multiple diverse disciplines with a wide range of technologies, as well as because of the disjointed state of their current online presence.
The College was formed by integrating three distinctly separate departments from other colleges at
NKU: Information Systems (now called Business Informatics), Computer Science and Communication. The departments are building new programs that embrace and leverage the promise of curricula that span the wide range of concepts, topics, techniques collectively called informatika (Mid-20th century. < information, after Russian informatika, nearly synonymous in the United States with Information Systems, but with far greater emphasis on cross discipline application.).
I was drawn to the College from Colorado because I agreed 100% with the reorganization of the three departments. It’s about time that public higher ed institutions realize there are no distinct lines drawn between the various users and developers of technology; the past 20 years have shown us that! Most higher education institutions still cling to the tired Loosenit Alliance of Kingdoms model wherein computer science is housed in a math or engineering college, information systems is housed in a business college, and communication disciplines are in a college of letters/arts, and never shall they meet. Ridiculous. These institutions are missing out on the very potent synergy that these producers of content, managers of content, and developers of content management and manipulation systems witness in the real world. Consider the convergence of computers, television and the web as an example.
The big initial project is rebuilding the online presence of the College, which currently consists of a collection of eight or so distinct sites, none with a common design nor cohesive writing voice. It is no small task! Interestingly, the University is redefining their online presence as well, so I suspect there will be bi-directional ramifications that impact how this project will be managed and will progress.
I plan to blog about the progress I make on this project, so stay tuned.