Conventional wisdom and plenty of books tell a story of how the post-World War II years saw a great shift take place in elite higher education: As a result of the G.I. Bill, the civil rights and women's movements, changing demographics, and some forward thinking academic leaders, you no longer needed to have the right ancestors and the right prep school to get into the top universities. Meritocracy emerged as a dominant force.
As interest in interdisciplinary research continues to increase, colleges still don’t have answers to critical questions about the best ways to support and encourage collaboration across the disciplines. How can a department fairly evaluate interdisciplinary research in promotion and tenure decisions, for example? How can an institution raise money for interdisciplinary endeavors within a system designed to fund raise for individual schools and colleges?