In his recent book, ʺIn Defense of Disciplines: Interdisciplinarity and Specialization in the Research University,ʺ Prof. Jerry A. Jacobs questions whether the celebration of interdisciplinarity represents a threat to expertise within disciplines. While he doesn't question interdisciplinary work, per se, he does want to defend disciplines. ʺInterdisciplinarity depends on strong disciplines,ʺ he said in a article from Inside higher Ed. In the course of his book, Jacobs stresses the level of interdisciplinary work already happening (so questioning the need to build new programs), as well as the administrative imperatives that foster interdisciplinary programs on campus. While his book is focused largely on the implications for research universities, we at liberal arts colleges might also benefit from such discussions focused not only on our research, but our teaching as well.
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