It was 1982. In the U.S., the average cost of a gallon of gas was 91 cents, Michael Jackson released his innovative album “Thriller,” AT&T was forced by the U.S. Department of Justice to break up its monopoly, and the first episode of “Late Night with David Letterman” aired on NBC.
At Rutgers University-New Brunswick, the School of Communication, Information, and Library Studies (SCILS), now the School of Communication and Information (SC&I), was founded. At its inception, SCILS brought together three separate yet related academic programs (known today as the departments of Communication, Journalism and Media Studies, and Library and Information Science) into one institution.
Since the school’s founding, it has sought to understand communication, information, and media processes, organizations, and technologies as they affect individuals, societies, and the relationships among them. It has been committed to educating individuals who make lasting contributions to society and to the interdisciplinary study and professional practice of communication journalism and media, and library and information science.
SC&I Interim Dean Dafna Lemish said, “I am honored to have the opportunity to lead the school forward on its current successful trajectory. With such a talented and dedicated community of faculty, staff, students, alums, and friends, I know we can expand upon our dynamic disciplines and work together on the challenges that will shape the future of higher education.”
Separating SC&I into its three original departments, the school’s origins can be traced much further back than 1982.
In 1926 the undergraduate program in journalism was established by Rutgers College. In 1927, the undergraduate program in librarianship was established at the New Jersey College for Women, later named Douglass College. In 1953 the Graduate School of Library Service (GSLS)was founded, and in 1969, a program in Journalism and Urban Communications was created within the Department of Community Development at Rutgers’ Livingston College.
Today, SC&I is a dynamic center of learning at the heart of the Rutgers University-New Brunswick campus. SC&I's research and teaching focuses on organizational communication, social and new media, library and information science, journalism and media studies, health communication, and information technology. The school’s competitive and renowned programs prepare students for top careers in today’s digital environment.
SC&I Fast Facts 2022:
- 1654 undergraduate majors (full and part-time)
- 457 undergraduate minors
- 849 master's students (full and part-time)
- 88 doctoral students
- over 36 non-degree students enrolled in Professional Development Studies courses
- 74 full-time faculty
- 160 part-time faculty
- 45 full-time professional staff members plus five part-time staff members
- Over 29,000 alumni
- While SC&I had its own 2,600+ majors and graduate students in 2021-22, more than 8,400 Rutgers-New Brunswick students took at least one course at SC&I last year
- 16 Collaborative research centers, labs, working groups, and clusters
- Tuition is competitive with the top 10 national programs
- Located less than 40 miles from NYC and 60 miles from Philadelphia
- Faculty and students win national awards every year from scholarly and professional associations
- One of the founding members of the iSchool consortium
- One of the founding members of the Alliance of Schools and Colleges of Communication and Journalism
- The home of the Gloria Steinem Endowed Chair in Media, Culture and Feminist Studies
View a timeline of the history of the Rutgers School of Communication and Information on the website.