Cluster Hiring Initiative Reports
The first evaluation, the November 2003 Report of the Provostʼs Ad Hoc Advisory Committee to Evaluate the Cluster Hiring Initiative, concluded that while it was too early to assess thoroughly how well the cluster initiative was meeting its goals and objectives, cluster faculty were engaged in interdisciplinary teaching, research and outreach, and that campus deans, department chairs and faculty supported the continuation of the Cluster Hiring Initiative. The 2003 report called for another evaluation within five years.
The result of that recommendation is the July 2008 Report of the Cluster/Interdisciplinary Advisory Committee to Evaluate the Cluster Hiring Initiative, conducted over a two-year period. The 2008 report concluded that the CHI is a success and is meeting its objectives. In only a few years, the CHI has created or strengthened 49 areas of academic interdisciplinary inquiry that match the teaching, research and outreach productivity of departmentally-based faculty. It strongly recommended the campus continue to support the cluster interdisciplinary efforts across campus as we develop methods for ongoing evaluation of cluster programs over time. Since many of the insights gained through evaluating the clusters also apply to interdisciplinary efforts in general, the report also made a number of recommendations to foster the environment for other interdisciplinary efforts across the campus.
A third campus evaluation of the cluster programs occurred in 2009-2010 when the Provost Office sought additional input from faculty, staff, department chairs, and deans. Each cluster completed a self-study as part of an evaluation process administered by lead deans and their academic planning councils. As a result of those materials, the Provost ad hoc Cluster Advisory Committee developed a set of recommendations called Cluster Program: Suggested Principles for the Next Phase. The recommendations serve as a framework for the campus to foster ongoing innovation and creativity within the existing and potentially new clusters.