Pathway 1

Aerial view of the CWRU campus.

Ignite Interdisciplinarity

The problems facing our globe and society are multi-faceted and complex, demanding solutions that require learning and expertise falling outside the boundaries of higher education’s traditional structures. These solutions fall across disciplines, methodologies, ways of knowing, institutions, communities and opportunities for learning outside the classroom. Our campus has continued to embrace the concept of interdisciplinary research and education, but we’ve yet to fully organize and operationalize ourselves, while also strengthening our disciplinary bases. Supporting interdisciplinary research and education entails developing more enabling structures in how we conduct research, how we educate our students and how we tend to our finances.

Our Goal:

Goal: Become known across the world as a leader in interdisciplinary research and education.*

* Includes interprofessionalism

Objectives Desired Outcomes Measures
1-1: Research
Significantly increase the
amount of interdisciplinary
research at CWRU
  • To create breakthrough discoveries that were not previously possible
  • To develop new structures of support that build on, but don’t replicate, departmental structures
  • To improve CWRU’s reputation as a world leader in innovative, structurally sustainable, interdisciplinary research
  • Increase the baseline of interdisciplinary grants received by 20%
  • Increase citations to journal articles, books, etc. on interdisciplinary topics by 20%
  • Increase the number of positive media hits about CWRU interdisciplinary projects
  • Grow the network interactions among faculty across the disciplines in and out of CWRU
  • Show evidence of new societal challenges being addressed by researchers across the disciplines
  • Grow research expenditures signaling both healthy disciplines and an increase in interdisciplinary activity
1-2: Education
Drive development
of creative new
interdisciplinary curricula
and pedagogical
approaches in graduate
and undergraduate
education and degree
  • To have CWRU’s Agora Academics approach become a widely recognized model for education
  • To grow interdisciplinary courses and degree programs
  • Increase the number of cross-listed courses
  • Increase the number of credit hours taken in interdisciplinary courses
  • Enhance student learning experiences in interdisciplinary courses
1-3: Infrastructure
Invest in spaces (e.g.,
laboratories, classrooms,
libraries) as hubs that will
advance interdisciplinary
research and learning
  • To have students and researchers collaborate in shared spaces
  • To generate rich intellectual interactions
  • To decrease university costs (i.e. investment in shared spaces for optimal facility use)
  • Increase shared research equipment/infrastructure
  • Reduce or eliminate duplicative facility costs
  • Increase interactions in shared spaces