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Interdisciplinarity$
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John Aldrich

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199331345

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199331345.001.0001

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How Centers Succeed

How Centers Succeed

The Interdisciplinary Center and its Administration

Chapter:
(p.208) 12 How Centers Succeed
Source:
Interdisciplinarity
Author(s):

John H. Aldrich

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199331345.003.0012

A major issue for interdisciplinary teaching and research is its proper administration. The career incentive structure leads some, perhaps many, scholars to avoid realizing their ambitions to engage in interdisciplinary research or teaching. Key among those are tenure, although most merit evaluations are designed to be evaluated at the disciplinary level. This chapter considers how the administrator might shape the organization of such institutes. It examines means by which merit evaluations can be designed in an interdisciplinary setting and how the institutes themselves can be designed through such features as sunset provisions to avoid such problems. The challenge for university administrators is not only how to pick which interdisciplinary units to back, but also how best to realize their potential for provision of public goods, thereby assisting in aligning faculty incentives, as well as realizing the public good for the university as a whole.

Keywords:   administering interdisciplinary teaching, incentive structures, faculty, interdisciplinarity tenure, faculty tenure, sunset provisions, research units, public goods

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