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Provost Begins Conversation on Fostering Interdisciplinarity

Office of the ProvostFeb 24, 2016

On February 16, Provost Pallavicini held on the Stockton campus the first of a series of conversations to discuss the barriers to interdisciplinary teaching and scholarship and to begin brainstorming on solutions leading to an environment that crosses boundaries.

The Academic Plan calls for us to cross boundaries for academic success. The COACHE Faculty Climate Survey results, and the comments received in the follow-up unit conversations indicate that we have room for improvement in creating an environment that fosters interdisciplinary work and collaboration.  

Nearly three dozen faculty members representing nearly all of the schools and College participated in the conversation and shared their observations, concerns and ideas regarding interdisciplinarity, including topics such as teaching and scholarship across disciplines, rewards and incentives, and joint appointments.  

This is just the beginning of an ongoing conversation. One of the next steps will be the formation of a smaller working group of faculty who will, among other things, work on the definitions of interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary work at Pacific, consider best practices at other institutions and begin to identify solutions to cross boundaries at Pacific.   

The Provost is hosting similar conversations on the Sacramento and San Francisco campuses on March 30 and April 7, respectively, and is seeking faculty members interested in serving on the interdisciplinarity working group.  

If you are interested in joining or learning more about this working group, or have suggestions on how to improve this conversation and engage other interested faculty members, please contact Berit Gundersen, Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, (bgundersen@pacific.edu) by March 1.

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