Departments fuse into new college

Northern Kentucky University is taking a big step toward helping its students stay ahead of the technology and communications curve.

Beginning with the fall semester, NKU will be combining the computer science, information science and communication departments into the new, integrated College of Computing, Information and Communications (CCIC).

Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost Gail Wells said now is the time to coordinate these creative, analytic and technical fields of study.

“There is a national move to try to combine these disciplines and expand the integrated media area,” Wells said. “I think this will be an innovative college, one that we hope will be ahead of the curve.”

The CCIC hopes to develop and integrate a variety of cutting-edge programs, including digital media, mobile technologies, information security and cryptology, multi-media product design, journalism and content management, computer-assisted reporting and strategic technology analysis.

Under the tentative banner Institute for Information Innovation, the new college will house three departments: the department of computer science, the department of communication and the department of information systems.

According to Wells, the school will emphasize collaboration between departments – something that she said is lacking between programs within the current college of professional studies.

“There isn’t a lot in common between nursing and journalism,” she said. “Looking at the needs of our regions, it appears that there is a real demand for synergy between computer science, information science and communication.”

Wells hopes that a petition for a new building to house the CCIC will be approved in the budgeting process, but said that until then, class locations for each field of study will remain the same as they are now.

“Many details will be worked out next year,” Wells said, “and innovations will be worked out in fall 2006, such as looking at what type of equipment to order for the lab and what courses would be appropriate.

“We are very excited about the prospects. We think that it will be a unique model, establishing NKU as a premier institute for study and research.”