Acquisition, Discovery and Application of Knowledge


The Knowledge Environment: Conclusion

Everyone benefits from wide conversations about matters of shared interest and common concern at the University. For example, linguists’ views of the language politics of the classroom are perhaps surprising to many and deserve discussion. So, too, do such questions as these: What will students do with their English majors, or their sociology majors, or their art degrees? Interestingly, the disciplinary major itself first entered the undergraduate curriculum at Johns Hopkins, as part of the shift to today’s research university model.

The separation of activities into many units, schools, colleges, and their departments, enables the University’s rich variety, but also calls for continued conversation. Our community already engages in more dialogue than at many institutions. For example, the University’s system of layered review recognizes that specialization and integration need to be balanced in the evaluation of faculty and academic programs. The University’s strength in interdisciplinary scholarship also reflects our culture of open dialogue. Interdisciplinarity is not an alternative to specialized disciplinary investigation, but fully complementary of it. The campus community has many contrasting opinions, but also a deeply shared commitment to academic values of rigorous inquiry and openness at the University of Michigan.