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Fall 2017
Dean's Note

For a while SC&I faculty and staff have been requesting a form of communication that is accessible and more regular than school meetings. This newsletter is a first attempt at that – it is designed to be brief and accessible, something that can be produced and read quickly. We look forward to your feedback.

One of things that excites me about the start of this semester has been the arrival of new faculty members. Most of you will have seen Caitlin Petre and Chenjerai Kumanyika in the corridors; they join Juan Gonzalez in Journalism and Media Studies. Matthew Matsaganis has become a member of the Communication faculty, moving from Albany. All the new faculty add to the originality and brilliance of our academic community. We have also been joined by Clifton Lacy who has moved from Engineering, after a distinguished career in medicine and more recently disaster preparedness.

Earlier this summer, Chancellor Deba Dutta joined Rutgers and his impact can be felt. Chancellor Dutta is focused on sharpening the definition of New Brunswick in contrast to Camden, Newark and RBHS. His agenda is focused on quality in teaching and research. It is notable that one of his early appointments is a new Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation. In my view, this is a significant appointment that will help develop a more strategic approach to research across New Brunswick. It is clear that Chancellor Dutta intends to spend more outwards facing time, particularly with alums and donors, but also will also be engaged with the State, while the new Provost will have a more internal managerial role.

Faculty have asked me to keep them abreast of the continuing problems with the implementation of the Cornerstone financial system. Two points to emphasize here. First, SC&I finance staff have been going above and beyond to manage the consequences of new more limited reporting possibilities and a range of roll out glitches. I would personally like to thank them for that. Second, a number of faculty have been seriously affected by these problems. I understand their frustration and, on a broader level, the very real risk to the reputation of individuals, units and ultimately Rutgers as a whole. There are still issues of stability; and, we are still not getting the kinds of reporting that will allow us to manage individual budgets effectively. We continue to press central finance about this and develop our own work rounds.

Finally, I was extremely pleased with the success of the Digital Innovation in Social Work mixer we had in September. It was well attended and lively. I was particularly struck by the organic way that at least three groups of cross-school faculty emerged, in the areas of geriatrics and dementia care, internet ‘addiction’, and children’s internet use and its challenges. We will follow up with more focused meetings in the coming months – watch this space.


Jonathan Potter, Dean
News Briefs
Chirag Shah Receives NSF Grant
The outcomes of Shah's project will make it possible and easier for a user with even low information literacy to be able to leverage the power of information.
NIH Funds Research for Social Media-Driven Intervention Aimed at Indoor Tanning Bed Users
Dr. Jerod Stapelton CINJ receives grant for social media-driven intervention aimed at indoor tanning bed users, working with SC&I's Kathryn Greene as co-investigator.
Ph.D. Alumna's Study has Research Impact
Lora Appel, Ph.D. ‘16, wonders whether dementia patients would benefit from experiencing a “virtual” environment as much as the “real” experience of being outside in the natural world.
New Assistant Dean for Development
Meet Rob Eccles and read about his plans to ensure continued success.
In Memoriam: Professor Robert Kubey
A mentor to generations of students, a pioneering researcher and a founding member of the band,The Professors, just begins to describe the impact Robert Kubey had on the SC&I family.
New Website
The school launched a new website and is looking for feedback. Please check out some of the pages and use the link at the bottom to leave feedback.

Around the School
A Sampling of Upcoming SC&I Events
October 12, Talk by Professor Corey Dolgon (Stonehill College)
November 16, Online MI
Information Session
October 16-20, Celebrate Free Speech Week!
December 12, Fall ITI Showcase
Rutgers School of Communication and Information
4 Huntington Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901