Student in lab

Push Boundaries Within and Among Disciplines

A Strategic Pillar

The Leading Edge

Within our research university, there are many Arts & Sciences departments and disciplines that stand poised to bound forward in their scholarship and academic distinction. Transformative innovations in knowledge and discovery come when scholars innovate at the leading edge of their disciplines and create novel synergies across traditional disciplinary boundaries. Some questions press us further down paths within our disciplines into places never yet explored; other questions open out into paths never before taken and make connections with adjacent fields.

Arts & Sciences at Washington University has a long and stellar history of producing transformational advances through both avenues — pushing further and pulling together — including leading missions to Mars, unpacking the workings of the Supreme Court, elucidating how human memory shapes a host of phenomena, and many more. Putting energy and investment into those places and people where our research is already pushing against boundaries within (e.g., Urban Sociology, Political Science) and among (e.g., Digital Transformation Initiative, Diversity Science) disciplines will raise the academic distinction of Arts & Sciences while advancing new knowledge, enabling new findings, creating new discoveries, training the scholars of tomorrow through novel graduate education, and producing new solutions to the biggest questions and most intractable challenges that drive our work.  

Metrics of Success

Success measures for this pillar will include:

  • An increase in the number and range of grants received, including the number of interdisciplinary and collaborative grants
  • Number of interdisciplinary opportunities offered in learning, discovery, training, and collaboration
  • Number of publications produced, the place of those publications, and the number of citations those publications receive 
  • An account of faculty recognitions in terms of prizes received, honors earned, or leading positions held (such as society office holders and editorships)
  • Department rankings and other reputational measures
  • Level of  recognition WashU and its faculty receive in news outlets and other national media on wide-ranging topics in Arts & Sciences

Learn how this pillar will be put into action

View our Inaugural Initiatives