The Faculty of Information and Media Studies turns 20 years old

FIMS is turning 20 years old, and time does fly when you're having fun.

As you read this, the faculty is in the middle of its second major relocation since being established in 1996/97. After being housed in Middlesex College in the early days, FIMS moved into North Campus Building in 2006, where it almost immediately outgrew its space. Ten years later, we’re moving into a building that gives us plenty of room to grow. The faculty name is attached to the bricks outside the doors, and we have our own dedicated FIMS entrance and lobby area.

Despite staff, faculty and students feeling somewhat daunted by the prospect of moving at the end of a busy fall term, it’s fitting that this is the year we take ownership of a facility designed specifically for us. Twenty years in, FIMS continues to grow, mature and evolve as a unit, and there is much optimism for the future.

This issue of the Alumni Newsletter, as well as the issue that will be sent out over the summer, will focus on commemorating three key anniversaries: 20 years of the Faculty of Information and Media Studies, 20 years of its flagship undergraduate program Media, Information and Technoculture, and 50 years of our celebrated Library and Information Science program, which began as a separate professional school in 1966.

As alumni, if you have suggestions for what kind of content you’d like to see in the summer 2017 newsletter in celebration of these anniversaries, please let us know. Would you like to read about fellow alumni? Would you like to know more about research in the faculty? Or hear about our current community and ongoing activities? To make suggestions, please email

In the meantime, please enjoy this first stage in celebrating our history. This newsletter contains articles about the MIT and LIS programs, as well as image galleries of FIMS memorabilia and photos of our ongoing move. We’ve also included some historical sources, in case you want to reminisce further.

As 2016 draws to a close, the FIMS community would like to wish our alumni all the best and say thank you for making our first 20 years so memorable. We hope you’ll continue to stay in touch as we go forward into our futures.

Timeline for the Faculty of Information and Media Studies

  • Western’s Graduate School of Journalism, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, and Faculty of Part-Time and Continuing Education come together to form the Faculty of Communication and Open Learning.
  • The Faculty of Communication and Open Learning is renamed the Faculty of Information and Media Studies
  • Eleven students graduate with an area of concentration in MIT
  • The Master of Arts in Media Studies program is launched
  • The Media Theory and Production program is launched in conjunction with Fanshawe College
  • The Media and the Public Interest program is launched, with the goal of connecting media studies to social justice issues.
  • FIMS moves from Middlesex College into North Campus Building
  • Undergraduate enrolment surpasses 700 students
  • The Master of Arts in Popular Music and Culture program is launched
  • The Health Information Science program, jointly offered between FIMS and the Faculty of Health Sciences, is launched, offering both master’s level and doctoral degrees
  • The Master of Arts in Journalism program is reconfigured and renamed the Master of Media in Journalism and Communication.
  • Undergraduate enrolment sits steady at approximately 1,100 students
  • Intake for the Media Theory and Production program is discontinued and a new relationship is developed with Fanshawe College through an articulation agreement.
  • FIMS moves from North Campus Building to the FIMS & Nursing Building at the corner of Huron and Lambton Drives.
Other numbers:
  • Programs: 10
  • Joint programs: 2 (PMC with Music, and HIS with Faculty of Health Sciences)
  • Full-time faculty members: 40
  • Faculty with joint appointments: 6
  • Full-time and part-time staff members: 25
  • MIT BA alumni over 20 years: 2,939
  • MLIS alumni over 50 years: 6,528
  • Space available in new FIMS & Nursing Building: 130,000 sq. ft.

By FIMS Communications