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Statement of President Joel Seligman Establishing the Provost's Multidisciplinary Awards

March 5, 2008

I am today adopting in full the recommendations of the Multidisciplinary Advisory Council Report, New Interdisciplinary Work at the University of Rochester, which recommends providing $250,000 per year to fund the Provost’s Multidisciplinary Awards. Funding will be provided by the Office of the President and will not come from the resources of any school. The multidisciplinary awards will support faculty research that crosses disciplines, whether within one school or across two or more schools. A Multidisciplinary Fund Review Committee will be established to provide peer review of grant applications. The attached Report describes the application process and provides a discussion of current multidisciplinary work at our University.

In addition to the Provost's Multidisciplinary Awards, Provost Ralph Kuncl will oversee:

  • Public celebration and reporting of new multidisciplinary work;
  • Continuation of the Phelps Colloquium Series;
  • Continuation of the Bridging Fellowship;
  • Continuation of the University Committee on Interdisciplinary Studies;
  • Permanent establishment of this year’s pilot initiative of a year-long Interdisciplinary Orientation Program for New and Early Career Faculty;
  • Permanent establishment of this year's pilot initiative of a Revised New Leaders Program; and
  • Establishment of a new single university-wide, searchable, editable, custom electronic Faculty Research Database.

The aspiration is to invigorate and nurture each of these and related multidisciplinary initiatives at the University of Rochester.

Let me express my gratitude to the Multidisciplinary Advisory Council which prepared this Report: Ralph Kuncl, chair; Robert Bambara; Jean Bidlack; Mark Bocko; Lucia French; David Headlam; Margaret Kearney; Thomas Krugh; Gunta Liders; Bette London; Patrick Macey; Robert McCrory; Joyce McDonough; Duncan Moore; Gary Paige; Allen Topolski; Joan Rubin; Jerold Zimmerman; and Vini Falciano, who served as staff to the Committee.