In Fall 2013, Provost Rous convened the Interdisciplinary Activities Task Force (IATF) to gather information about ongoing interdisciplinary research and teaching across campus, identify and assess opportunities and barriers to these activities, and make recommendations for changes to existing processes, policies, and organizational structures to maximize our institutional strengths and to effectively and efficiently support and encourage the full array of interdisciplinary work at UMBC.
During their 18-month investigation, the Task Force gathered information on three issues: 1) Faculty Recognition and Reward, 2) Curriculum and Pedagogy, and 3) Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activities. Through a series of in-depth conversations with campus leaders and faculty as well as research into national best-practices, the Task Force developed twenty-eight recommendations to enhance interdisciplinary activity at UMBC. The Task Force Final Report was submitted to the Provost in March 2015.
The Provost accepted the Task Force recommendations in Spring 2015, and in Fall 2015 he established the Interdisciplinary Activities Advisory Committee (IAAC) as a standing committee to provide ongoing advice on implementing Task Force recommendations. The IAAC has met twice a month since then. The Committee operates under the following Charge:
- To provide advice and guidance to the Provost and the Special Assistant for Interdisciplinary Activities throughout the implementation process of the recommendations made by the Interdisciplinary Activities Task Force.
- To investigate national best-practices with regard to specific recommendations.
- To provide a venue for discussion of unforeseen issues as they arise.