First Meeting Discussion

First questions and discussion, April 22, 2010
Barriers at URI
No formula for assigning credit for team teaching (faculty member,
Resources are allocated to departments/colleges
Faculty training drives specialization
Majors have tight curriculum demands; courses must be taught; no extra
time for faculty members to teach interdisciplinary courses
No organization structure to support it
No incentives to behave interdisciplinarily
We already offer too many courses
Nothing in URI’s culture that supports this
There seem not to be any good examples to use as models
Successful efforts
“Archaeology Frontiers,” fall 2009 course with 100 students, team taught by
Archaeologists from Anthro, Art and Art History, History and
NSF funded IGERT
Coastal Fellows
Coastal Institute
NEW gaming major in Film Media
NEW health studies major in Kinesiology
NEW effort in neuroscience
WMS, ECON, AAF, Distinguished International Scholar
NEW joint PharmD/MBA
A policy or practice that might improve the situation
VPResearch should be a marriage-maker for research projects
Must be money to support the effort
Create two pools of resources, one for teaching and one for research
Make it easier to cross-list courses
Create incentives and mechanisms for communications across departments
and colleges to get discussions going
Hold meetings specifically about cross-unit projects
Develop a protocol for annual review, P & T, clerical/budget support for
those in joint appointments
Create template for annual review/faculty evaluation
What can we learn from other institutions?
Duke: Nicholas School of the Environment—Provost funding for joint
Maryland, between engineering and business, business and languages
and business and computer sciences
Georgetown, neuroscience
Louisiana Tech, chairs come from outside departments they oversee
SUNY Cortland: involve chairs, decide if courses temporary or permanent
acknowledge that just because there are two in classroom, interdisciplinary doesn’t just happen
William and Mary lists interdisciplinarity as one of its top grand challenges
American U in Paris, Freshman Seminars equal to 2 or 2.5 courses