WOOSTER, Ohio – The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded The College of Wooster a $1.1 million grant to support bringing four new, interdisciplinary tenure-track faculty to the college. The grant will provide bridge funding to hire and support interdisciplinary scholars in anticipation of expected retirements in the arts, humanities, and non-quantitative social sciences. Two will be hired to start in the fall of 2019, and two the following year.
The college already offers interdisciplinary majors in a number of fields, including neuroscience; biochemistry and molecular biology; women’s, gender and sexuality studies; urban studies; and Africana studies.
“This funding provides a crucial opportunity to accelerate both our development of new areas of inquiry and the realization of our commitments to increasing the diversity of our faculty,” said Wooster President Sarah R. Bolton. “This grant will provide the bridge that allows us to build capacity and interest in new programs while supporting existing majors.”
Research suggests that both students and faculty are increasingly interested in interdisciplinary areas of study. It also suggests that engaging a cluster of diverse young faculty in interdisciplinary work can improve their professional experiences by establishing creative connections and building community.
Groups of faculty have been invited to develop proposals for the first two new interdisciplinary lines for review by the college’s educational policy committee this fall.
The College of Wooster is America’s premier college for mentored undergraduate research. Wooster offers an excellent, comprehensive liberal arts education, culminating in a rigorous senior project, in which each student works one-on-one with a faculty mentor to conceive, organize and complete a significant research project on a topic of the student’s own choosing. Through this distinctive program, every Wooster student develops abilities valued by employers and graduate schools alike: independent judgment, analytical ability, creativity, project-management and time-management skills, and strong written and oral communication skills. Founded in 1866, the college enrolls approximately 2,000 students.