About

Mission: The IIP conducts sponsored research and self-funded programs on the social implications of information technology, with an emphasis on the potential of information technologies for improving democratic discourse, social responsibility and quality of life.
Organizational structure: The IIP is co-housed in the College of Communications and the College of Information Sciences and Technology.

Leadership: Since its formation, the IIP has operated with co-directors. The current co-directors are Amit Schejter of the College of Communications/Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Krishna Jayakar of the College of Communications and  John Bagby of the College of Information Sciences and Technology. Richard Taylor of the College of Communications is Co-Director Emeritus.
Activities: The IIP undertakes both research and programmatic activities (e.g., conferences) aimed at making a direct contribution to society (“public scholarship”) and to advancing the understanding of information technology processes and outcomes.
Funding: The IIP is entirely self-funded through gifts (cash and in-kind), grants (through sponsored programs) and “gifts in support of research.” Since its formation, the IIP has received approximately $2 million in external support, including in-kind contributions (to view the gifts and grants received from 1997 to 2010, download the pdf here). IIP was once chosen as Penn State candidate for multi-year, multi-million dollar NSF grant.

Operations: The IIP currently has no formal structure beyond the co-directors, but operates on the basis of teams of faculty and others as appropriate to implement particular projects. Because most sources of funding are foundations and corporations, most gifts and grants are ad hoc, and not responses to RFPs.

Staffing: The IIP has no permanent staff. However, as one of the College of Communications’ centers and institutes, it has been assigned a graduate student assistant for its activities. The IIP has regularly employed graduate students (and often undergraduates), mostly during the summer, and on occasion during the school year.
Supervision: The IIP reports to the office of the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research through the Director of Curriculum and Research Administration. The IIPs financial accounts are set up and managed by the College of Communications financial officer, in coordination, where appropriate, with the Office of Sponsored Programs. Regular meetings are held with the financial officer with respect to accounts and funds.