receive appropriate support from their colleagues, department chairs, and those in control of the university budget.

REFORM INITIATIVES AND ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT

Colleges and universities cannot expect excellent teaching unless they actively support faculty development. Administrators need to recognize the time and effort required by encouraging faculty to take advantage of campus resources (such as teaching and learning centers and computer services) and supporting them for travel to conferences, workshops, and courses where they can learn and practice new teaching approaches and share their experiences with other faculty. As stated earlier, implanting the ideas of this report will take significant intellectual and financial resources.

For interdisciplinary education to become a reality, colleges and universities must provide incentives and help eliminate disincentives to interdepartmental collaborations. The disincentives often come about when allocation of teaching credit and the condition and organization of the physical facilities are under departmental control. Decreasing barriers and increasing communication between departments will require mechanisms that facilitate faculty teaching out-of-department courses. These will often require increasing the recognition and rewards for faculty who teach outside of their department, possibly by allocating credit hours for teaching based on the department of the faculty member instead of the department listing the course. Interdisciplinary innovation also will require substantial faculty time and effort to develop new course materials, adapt existing curricula to their particular needs,1 and learn new topics. Departments and colleges must find new ways to make these resources available to help faculty and to recognize and reward their efforts. Again, departmental structures must evolve to meet these new needs.

At many institutions, graduate teaching assistants also play an important educational role. They must receive more preparation for their teach-

1  

The National Science Foundation’s Division of Undergraduate Education now offers support to faculty who seek to adopt and adapt existing modules and curricula to their own circumstances. This Adaptation and Implementation program is a component of the long-established Course, Curriculum, and Laboratory Improvement initiative. For additional information: http://www.ehr.nsf.gov/ehr/DUE/programs/ccli/



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