Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 65.51
Liaison Michele Hebert
Submission Date Aug. 26, 2011
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.0

University of Alaska Fairbanks
ER-19: Interdisciplinary Research in Tenure and Promotion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Susan Henrichs
University of Alaska Fairbanks
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution's treatment of interdisciplinary research meet the criteria for this credit?:

A brief description or a copy of the institution’s policy regarding interdisciplinary research:

While UAF does not have an overarching policy regarding interdisciplinary research, units are taking into consideration during the promotion and tenure process. It is noteworthy that all the departments that do not have it within the unit criteria for promotion do have a process for giving equal, not more or less, credit to interdisciplinary research. All deans of research units make note of it in their evaluation letters for promotion and tenure. UAF faculty are evaluated based on criteria outlined by the Board of Regents. Each unit can use their unit criteria to include additional items but must adhere to the Board of Regents requirements. Only one unit has chosen to add additional language for interdisciplinary research, School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences (SNRAS).

From Carol Lewis, Dean of School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences: "By the mission of the School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences and its make-up at its creation in 1975, it is multidisciplinary professional school combining the biological and physical sciences with the social sciences in addressing the sustainable management of natural resources. It is inclusive of degrees in Natural Resources Management (BS, MS [with a Peace Corp option], MNRMG, Ph.D) and Geography (BA, BS), addressing interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approaches to regional, national and international allocation and use of resources to benefit ecological systems including human interactions.

The Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station is one of 57 agricultural experiment stations in the United States. Its mission is to engage in interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research at the basic and translational level. It, along with its partner agricultural experiment stations, participate in multistate research projects that are mandated by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), are a part of the formula funds (Hatch Act - agriculture, McIntire-Stennis Act - forestry) that it receives, and include both basic and translational research. It participates in integrated activities also mandated by NIFA that require the translation of its research to the Cooperative Extension Service (CES) through the formula funds received by CES under the Smith-Lever Act for dissemination to clientele in Alaska as well as its regional and national partners. Therefore, there is no need to encourage or mandate interdisciplinary, trans-disciplinary or multi-disciplinary research in faculty workloads. It is a part of the job description that is used to recruit faculty, research professionals, technicians, and staff. It is understood when personnel are hired that they will pursue these activities.
Faculty must report their multi-state and integrated activities. We (AFES and CES) have a formalized system for this reporting. The activities must be reported to NIFA to enable us to continue access to formula funds and their matching state funds. Parenthetically, formula funds must be matched one-to-one by each state in the United States. Most states match far higher than that to assure that agricultural and forestry research is continued and engagement is assured through the cooperative extension services. The national average is six to one. Alaska is the lowest in the nation with a roughly 2.8 to one match for both AFES and CES."

From Paul Layer, College of Natural Science and Mathematics:
"For faculty who have participated in interdisciplinary research, I do mention that in their annual evaluations or T-P files. For example we had a faculty member standing for tenure and promotion and I did point out that about half of his research was working in an interdisciplinary collaboration. Thus, this was a major part of his research and was worth mentioning, and this work was a factor in his getting tenure."

The website URL where information about the treatment of interdisciplinary research is available:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.