As the 2023-2024 school year begins, the UNC Greensboro School of Education has announced the merger of the Department of Library and Information Science (LIS) and the Department of Educational Research Methodology (ERM). The joined unit will be known as the Department of Information, Library, and Research Sciences (ILRS).
Dr. Randy Penfield, Dean of the School of Education, said, “We are excited about the potential this merger provides. Bringing LIS and ERM together in a single department opens the door for increased enrollment, new program paths, and timely collaborative research opportunities. We feel that this merger will lead to an improved experience for our students as we look to provide them with the best educational opportunities in the state of North Carolina.”
The merger will allow the School of Education to expand its programming and enrollment in intersecting areas of the two departments. One of those areas is information science where a Bachelor of Science in Information Science is offered that had been offered within LIS. That degree program offers a track in Information Analytics that features many courses that have been taught by ERM faculty members.
One of ERM’s strengths has been in the area of program evaluation and assessment. That field has strong ties to a pair of master’s programs that have been housed in LIS – Library and Information Science and Instructional Technology and Design.
Dr. Lisa O’Connor, who has been serving as the Chair of LIS, will lead the newly merged department.
With the merger of these two units, the School of Education now boasts five departments – Counseling and Educational Development; Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations; Information, Library, and Research Sciences; Specialized Education Services, and Teacher Education and Higher Education.