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  > > e-Bulletin: 04/15/02


LETTERS
Penn State counterpoint


I 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."

I 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 and training.

Of 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.

Perhaps 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.

Jack C. Schultz, AB'69
Julian, Pennsylvania


 


  APRIL 2002

  > > Volume 94, Number 4


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Auteur! Auteur!
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A Run for Our Money
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My Life as a Mind
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Thinking Inside the Box
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Home, home in the Reg


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