Hiring That Crosses Disciplines Can Create New Tensions

24interdisciplinary-weekly

North Carolina State U. has hired 28 new professors for its 12 interdisciplinary "clusters," and plans to hire a total of 43.

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North Carolina State U. has hired 28 new professors for its 12 interdisciplinary "clusters," and plans to hire a total of 43.

Driven by shrinking budgets and increasingly complex research questions, interdisciplinary faculty hiring has swept into universities across the nation in recent years. It has attracted money and buzz, but it has also created tensions and practical challenges on campuses.

The promise of interdisciplinary work being touted in announcement after announcement of new university efforts is bumping up against time-honored university practices. Such hires test departmental primacy in