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University of Michigan School of Information


UMSI boards combined, expanding capacity for success

Alumnus Rodger Devine sits across the desk from a current UMSI student. He is masked but speaking animatedly.
UMSI Advisory Board member Rodger Devine shares insights with a student during the fall board meeting networking session.

Monday, 09/26/2022

The University of Michigan School of Information is reimagining its board structure. The changes  pave the way for more opportunities for industry leaders to help guide the school through the creation of one cohesive board.  

Previously, there were two boards providing feedback about the future of UMSI: the external advisory board (EAB) and the alumni society board (ASB). By combining the two boards, UMSI leadership hopes to harness the strengths and expertise of both groups, while providing greater clarity and transparency. 

“The UMSI external advisory board and alumni society board have been working successfully together for some time,” says Elizabeth Yakel, interim dean at UMSI. “The formal unification will continue this productive collaboration which harnesses diverse perspectives on strategic directions for UMSI’s academic, co-curricular and research programs. The members of the combined board are leaders and innovators in a variety of fields and their expertise and experiences enrich discussions and help UMSI leaders make strategic choices and set priorities.”

The board plays a critical role in helping shape the future of UMSI. Board members support students through mentorship opportunities and use their industry expertise to ensure UMSI continues to meet the educational needs of the industry. They provide insight on curriculum development and research initiatives while keeping alumni engaged with UMSI. 

“I think the consolidation creates a better structure for the school,” says Anne Beaubien, a board member since 2017. Beaubien is a 1970 UMSI grad and the former director of document delivery at the University of Michigan Library. “There’s a beautiful exchange of ideas,” she says. “The school usually provides a challenge they’re working through and we brainstorm with each other and provide suggestions.” 

Aside from providing feedback, board members are instrumental in mentoring UMSI students. Many say this is the most rewarding part of being on the board. 

“We love nothing more than hearing about the success of current and former students,” says Rodger Devine, a 2011 UMSI alum. “It’s rewarding to pay it forward and create access and opportunity structures for current students who raise their hand for mentorship.” 

Noor Hindi, Marketing and Communications Writer at UMSI



Learn more about the UMSI Advisory board.

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