2013 Research Symposium

Interdisciplinary Collaborations among Arts and Sciences:
Transforming Research and Informing Innovation in Research Universities
5:30 pm March 13–12:00 pm March 15, 2013
Penn Stater Inn, State College, Pennsylvania


The primary purpose of this research symposium is to promote research exploring new ways to evaluate, construct, and advance high-impact creative work, research, and teaching involving arts and design practice and other disciplines.

Expected Outcomes

The 2013 research symposium is designed to accomplish the following specific outcomes:

  • Clarify research questions raised by integrated research, creative work, and teaching.
  • Enhance communications and problem-solving across partner universities about our shared work.
  • Expand interdisciplinary ownership of national initiative at partner institutions.


a2ru thanks the following leaders of founding partner Penn State University for the generous support that has made this research symposium possible:

  • Office of the Dean of the College of Arts and Architecture, Barbara O. Korner
  • Office of the Vice President for Research and Graduate Dean, Henry C. “Hank” Foley
  • Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, Robert N. Pangborn

A special thanks to the staff of the College of Arts and Architecture, Amy Bucha, Barbara Cutler, Scott Lindsay, and Delyn Walker, and to a2ru staff member Angie Stewart.


Wednesday, March 13

All day Arrivals, Penn Stater Inn
1:00 – 5:00 National Committee Meetings1:30 – 3:00 – Planning (Co-chairs: Barbara Korner and Kwang-Wu Kim).  Room 211.2:00 – 3:30 – Curricular/Co-Curricular (Co-chairs: Carmon Colangelo and Mark Law; Deb Mexicotte and Eric Beatty, Co-Curricular).  Room 217.3:00 – 4:30 – Research (Co-chairs:  Lucinda Lavelli and Stein Sture).  Room 211.3:30 – 5:00 – Strategic Communications (Co-chairs:  Lee Doyle and Luis Rico-Gutierrez).  Room 217.
5:30 Get-acquainted reception with appetizers and cash bar.  Senate Lounge.
6:15 Buffet dinner.  Senate 2/3.
7:00 State of the Network report

  • Proposed policies, committee development plans, implementation progress and planning (25 min)

Theresa Reid, Executive Director, a2ru

  • Committee reports, FY14 strategic plan (40 min)

a2ru Committee Co-chairs

  • Mellon Research Project progress (25 min)

Bruce Mackh, Mellon Research Project Director

Antony Kolenic, Research Associate

8:30 Discussion
9:00 Overview of plan for tomorrow and rest of meeting; adjournTheresa Reid

Thursday, March 14

8:00 Continental breakfast.  President’s Hall 1.WelcomeHenry “Hank” Foley, Vice President for Research, Pennsylvania State University
8:30 Panel presentations 1:  Arts as a catalyst for transforming research and curriculum within the university.Leila Kinney, Executive Director of Arts Initiatives and CAST (Creativity in Arts and Sciences Event)Matthew Tiews, Executive Director of Arts Programs, Stanford UniversityMichael Underhill, Executive Dean, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, Arizona State
9:30 Response panel 1:Sarah Bainter Cunningham, Executive Director for Research, VCU School of the Arts Marvin Parnes, Associate Vice President for Research, University of MichiganStein Sture, Vice Chancellor for Research University of Colorado
10:00 Break
10:30 Panel presentations 2:  Arts as a catalyst for powerful internal collaborations and community engagement.Bruce Lindsey, Dean, College of Architecture, Washington University in St. Louis, City Studio, on the Alberti program and Sustainable UrbanismLuis Rico-Gutierrez, Dean, College of Design, Iowa State, on the 21st-Century Extension Service William Sherman, Associate Vice President for Research, University of Virginia, Open Grounds
11:30 Response panel 2:Dave Hall, Dean of Information Systems and Technology, Penn State UniversityHank Lazer, Associate Provost, Academic Affairs, University of AlabamaDavid C. Munson, Dean, College of Engineering, University of Michigan
12:00 Lunch.  The Gardens Restaurant.
1:15 How does arts integration work in research universities in practice?  A lively series of presentations Pecha-Kucha style provide a great deal of food for thought.Graeme Sullivan, Penn State, on defining “research” in the artsMary Frecker and Rebecca Strzelec, Penn State, on NSF origami engineering grants to PSU, UM, and others.Daragh Byrne, Assistant Research Professor with the School of Arts Media and Engineering, Arizona State, on the NSF-funded XSEAD grantSarah Cunningham, Virginia Commonwealth’s Arts+Medicine initiative

Ben Knapp, Director, Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology

Lucinda Lavelli, University of Florida’s SEA Change initiative and CASE (Creativity in Arts and Sciences Event)

Eric Beatty, Johns Hopkins, and Deb Mexicotte, University of Michigan, on the role of co-curricular programs in driving arts integration

Danielle Lindemann, Curb Center at Vanderbilt, Implications of SNAAP findings for our research questions

2:30 All-group discussion of presentations.
3:00 Break
3:20 Roundtables.  Each participant will engage in focused conversation with colleagues for 25 minutes on up to three of the following questions:

  • What is research in the arts? Facilitator:  Graeme Sullivan, PSU. Scribe:  Bruce Mackh, a2ru.
  • What are the most important research questions facing us?  How do we tackle them? Facilitator:  Peter Robbie, Dartmouth. Scribe:  Tony Kolenic, a2ru.
  • What are some potentially scalable models for interdisciplinary research involving arts and design disciplines? Facilitator: David Holland, VCU. Scribe:  Daragh Byrne, ASU.
  • What are some potentially scalable models for general education arts practice curriculum and interdisciplinary courses involving arts and design disciplines?  Facilitator:  James H. Rolling, Jr., Syracuse.  Scribe: Cole Hons, PSU.
  • What are the top 10 strategic alliances for a2ru to form?  What should those alliances accomplish?  Facilitator:  Patricia Olynyk, WUSTL. Scribe:  Michelle Kydd, a2ru.
  • What should a2ru’s big November 2014 research symposium look like and do? Facilitator:  Anja Bieri, Virginia Tech. Scribe:  Lia Min, U-M.
4:45 Insta-report:  Facilitators & scribes provide five–minute summaries of conversations at their tables.



Adjourn, freshen up.Bus will transport guests from Penn Stater to Palmer Museum of Art.  Board bus at driveway at end of President’s Hall Reception area.  Bus will leave as it fills up.Gather in the Palmer Museum of Art on Penn State’s campus for a light dinner of hearty hors d’oeuvres.  Visitors are encouraged to explore the galleries after visiting in the lobby.Program:  Penn State Laureate and Distinguished Professor of Ceramics Chris Staley and colleagues on elevating the arts in a research environment.

Friday, March 15

8:00 Continental breakfast, welcome, and overview of day’s planBobbi Korner, Theresa Reid












Panel presentations 3:Innovative administrative structures to support arts integrationRobert Cutietta, Dean, Thornton School of Music & Glorya Kauffman School of Dance, University of Southern CaliforniaEdward Feser, Dean, College of Fine and Applied Arts, University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignThanassis Rikakis, Vice Provost, Carnegie Mellon University

Mark Shanda, Dean, Arts & Humanities, Ohio State

Ruth Waalkes, Associate Provost for the Arts, and Executive Director, Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech

Response panel 3:

Peter Mortensen, Associate Provost for Academic Affairs, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana

Monica Ponce de Leon, Dean, Taubman College of Architecture + Urban Planning, University of Michigan

George Sparks, Dean, College of Visual and Performing Arts, James Madison University


Wrap-up:  What are a2ru’s three most important tasks for the next three years as we aim to shape the transformation of research universities?

Bobbi Korner and a2ru staff facilitate small-group discussion and full-group report outs to fill out three-year plan.

Theresa Reid, Executive Director

Bruce Mackh, Mellon Research Project DirectorTony Kolenic, Research AssociateMichelle Krell Kydd, Communications SpecialistAnja Haelg Bieri, Volunteer Program Associate
11:45 AdjournTheresa Reid, Barbara Korner

March 2013 Research Symposium (PDF)