• We need pooled interdisciplinary expertise to solve real life problems, Experts can clash over language, divergent perspectives, and knowledge gaps. Recognizing these barriers — and discussing how to overcome them — is crucial.

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The Expanding Role of the Arts in Research Universities

  • May 4, 2015
  • By a2ru      
a2ru Circuits webinar series highlights conversations in the field of arts-integrated interdisciplinarity.


The Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities (a2ru) launched the a2ru Circuits webinar series on Thursday, April 23, 2015.  “The Expanding Role of the Arts in Research Universities: Curricular and Co-Curricular Trends (Part I)” was attended by 70 registrants which included four panelists and a moderator from five a2ru partner universities.

Bruce Mackh, Ph.D., Mellon Research Project Director from University of Michigan’s ArtsEngine program, highlighted national trends in curricular and co-curricular models, obstacles, strategies, costs, and impacts resulting from a three-year study funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Carmon Colangelo, Dean of the Sam Fox School of Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis, and Lauren Lake, Chair of the Department of Art & Art History at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, addressed the range of issues facing curriculum development on their own campuses, as well as what the future may hold.

A second conversation, featuring Eric Beatty, Director of the Homewood Arts Program at Johns Hopkins University and Deb Mexicotte, Program Director of Arts at Michigan, focused on co-curricular efforts and emerging directions on their campuses.

Mark Law, Ph.D., Director of the Honors Program and Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Florida, moderated the discussion.

The next webinar in the a2ru Circuits series will take place in the fall.