In Spring 2010, the Office of Research at the University of Southern California asked the Norman Lear Center to lead a series of small faculty meetings on Creativity & Collaboration in the Academy. The purpose of these discussions was to ask faculty how to keep USC at the forefront of research, particularly in the use of new technology to enable collaborative research. Which innovative practices enable faculty to work together, both within and across disciplines?
There are obvious disincentives built into the system, among them, the emphasis on solo accomplishments in the tenure review process; the revenue models for schools, which are loathe to share their students or faculty with other revenue silos on campus. But there is also a great excitement about the possibilities — even the necessity — of collaborative research, especially as new technologies enable us to peruse and process vast amounts of information in multiple media.
We believe that the challenge for academia is similar to the one faced by the music and publishing industries. Will the academy find it as hard to adapt to new technology as these industries have? Or is it in a position to thrive?
We asked faculty the following questions:
- What are the best practices in research collaboration that you know?
- What are the barriers to research collaboration at USC?
- How can USC further develop a culture of innovation that supports creative ways to conduct and collaborate on research?
- You can view a list of participants in the workshops here and a list of their responses to these questions here.