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Analysis of Interdisciplinary Faculty Job Postings by Institutional Type, Rank, and Discipline


The disciplinary department structure of universities is slow to respond to increasingly interdisciplinary problems. Initiatives focus on faculty hiring (joint appointments, cluster hires and/or interdisciplinary centers). To understand the qualifications sought for interdisciplinary faculty, we analyzed 3,512 faculty openings from The Chronicle of Higher Education. Only 6% of positions described interdisciplinarity (ID), and many were vague. Doctoral institutions emphasized interdisciplinary departments or colleges, while baccalaureate colleges had institution-wide interdisciplinary identities and stressed ID teaching. Natural sciences highlighted ID research and collaboration, while social sciences and humanities emphasized ID teaching and scholarship. Senior rank positions called for ID collaboration experience, while junior rank positions described ID teaching responsibilities. Implications for academic leaders as both graduate educators and hiring employers are discussed.