U NC consistently places in the ranks of top-tiered schools as an institution that strongly encourages and highly prioritizes research in multiple fields. In fact, in a 2012 report, the Center for Measuring University Performance ranked UNC as the 17th best research university in the country.
In order to keep up with other leading research institutions, UNC would do well to explore a growing trend known as faculty clusters. Clusters give professors an opportunity to conduct cross-disciplinary research, meaning that professors could cross department boundaries to expand research applications .
Clusters would encourage professors to conduct research in fields where links have yet to be explored. And in today’s increasingly interconnected word, many research subjects are becoming relevant for the first time. An example of possible cross-disciplinary research is a collaboration between the psychology and advertising departments to explore how to create more effective, psychologically targeted ads. In reality, the possibilities are endless.
N.C. State University has seen great success with the implementation of clusters. In fact, the program will likely bring new degree options to the university.
By exploring clusters, UNC could pioneer research in increasingly important subjects and educate students in timely subjects. UNC should strongly consider giving professors the option of clusters.