Multi-Disciplinary and Collaborative

Promote and support the creation of a Strategic Initiatives and Development Team (SIDT) to assist existing academic and support units across campus to assess, plan, and evaluate prospective multi-disciplinary collaborative degrees, partnership programs, and other types of initiatives.

Multi-Disciplinary and Collaborative:

Commentary:   Multi-disciplinary efforts are successfully in action across the university; however, these are primarily research-based. There are emerging initiatives for paths of study that would be academic-based, i.e. degrees and strategic initiatives, and these are the realms that we intend to address in this strategy; our multi-disciplinary opportunities need to move beyond pure research initiatives.

Our existing university governance and operations structures do not always allow for the flexibility that is necessary to meet in a timely and objective manner the emerging opportunities and needs of the university and society. The formation of a Strategic Initiatives and Development Team as a facilitator for new majors and degrees, strategic initiatives, and institutional partnerships will provide a neutral partner for the analysis of proposals, development of business plans when appropriate, and assignment to appropriate ‘home’ college, institute, or other entity for implementation. Ideas may originate within academic or support units, from the administration, or be proposed by external sources; and, this office would work with those units to develop, plan, analyze, and facilitate implementation of new degree programs and initiatives in the appropriate academic or support units. Transitioning select programs and operations to a trimester system, or implementing more effective programs to engage our students in global experiences will require multi-disciplinary collaboration, and are examples of how this team may better assist development of strategic initiatives.

ASPECT is an innovative interdisciplinary PhD program that fosters critical engagement between domains of inquiry in the Social Sciences, Humanities, and the Arts.


    • Guided and timely discussions and decisions.
    • Weigh costs and benefits in a neutral, consistent way.
    • Resources effectively and efficiently directed towards dealing with the big questions for our university and society.  (Questions arose pertaining to what resources would be needed take to add 1000 graduate students? Or, about resources for new overarching and multi-disciplinary degrees focused on water or the environment?)
    • Incubator of ideas, business plans, etc.

Potential Obstacles:

    • Perception of increased bureaucracy.
    • Perception of delayed decision-making.

Unresolved Issues:

    • Strategic Initiatives and Development Team obstacles:  funding, personnel, logistics, and retention of personnel.

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