noticed Judith van Herik's (AB'68) class news of her retirement
from Penn State University, which she attributed to Penn State's
persistent refusal to "even imagine, let alone embrace, interdisciplinarity."
have done broadly interdisciplinary research and teaching for
over 25 years, the last 19 at Penn State, and have served on national
panels, given public lectures, and advised faculties and administrators
at several universities about fostering interdisciplinary research
the four major institutions at which I have worked, Penn State
has been by far the most supportive of such endeavors and actively
facilitates work across very wide disciplinary boundaries in the
sciences. Indeed, colleagues in the sciences at the U of C have
complained to me about its archaic disciplinarity and have applied
for positions here at Penn State as a result.
narrow disciplinarity persists in the humanities at Penn State;
I really can't say. Dr. van Herik's experience certainly differs
from mine in the sciences. In any event, broad brush condemnation
of a huge institution such as Penn State-which has plenty of faults-is
unlikely to be accurate or fair on this, or most issues.
C. Schultz, AB'69