Published: Sept. 19, 2019

CU Boulder provost Russell Moore and Chief Operating Officer Kelly Fox today announced that the draft report of the Working Group on Interdisciplinarity is complete and will be posted on Oct. 1 for a 30-day campus review.

The two last February commissioned Interim Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Jim White to form a working group that would lead a conversation on how the campus might engage in Interdisciplinary Teaching, Research, and Creative Work and the value in doing so.

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White thanked the committee members for their hard work and visionary thinking, and said the committee came through on that charge, and more.

“The report celebrates the interdisciplinary work we already do while urging the campus to extend interdisciplinary efforts across CU and particularly in our teaching,” White said. “It recognizes that we need a broad definition of interdisciplinary work that supports efforts in all parts of the university.”

The report will be posted for campus review through the end of business on Nov. 1. Members of the community can review the report and offer comments and up to a two-page written response to the report during that time, and are invited to attend a series of townhalls that will be hosted during the month of October.

After the review, the committee will incorporate suggested changes and submit the final report to the provost in early December.

The report offers a number of concrete recommendations anchored in institutional change.

The first calls for the formation of an interdisciplinary incubator, a physical space where teams of faculty could be co-located to explore a targeted theme of research, scholarship, or creative work. The second puts forth the creation of teaching academies, the educational equivalent of research institutes, to serve as a hub and community home for large interdisciplinary themes.

Other ideas include the provost naming and supporting a “champion” for interdisciplinary work and a recommendation for the provost to change the student credit hour (SCH) model for campus to allow faculty to retain a certain fraction of those hours as currency, to be used to pursue individual faculty goals and to support innovative programming, including interdisciplinary education.