College of Liberal Arts encouraging collaboration with research synergy clusters

November 23, 2010

The College of Liberal Arts has defined nine "research synergy clusters" that address global grand challenges and has scheduled a meeting regarding each from Nov. 29 through Dec. 15. After this initial round of meetings for Liberal Arts faculty and staff, the college expects to hold campus-wide meetings to foster collaborations.

The clusters were identified under the college's "Catalyzing Social Impact" positioning strategy. The clusters strategically communicate the high-impact research within the college; open up communication among faculty members through brown bags, workshops, and colloquia; and allow faculty members to find others across Purdue who have similar research interests.

Mohan Dutta, associate dean for research and graduate studies, says, "I see these clusters as important ways of initiating conversations and collaborations among faculty in the college. I also see the clusters as excellent ways to start conversations with faculty in other colleges across campus."

The series of Liberal Arts meetings will begin Monday (Nov. 29) with "Environment, Politics and Society" at 1-2:30 p.m. in Room 1222, Beering Hall. A list of meeting times and locations for the remaining research areas is available as a PDF file.

Dutta stresses that the clusters are dynamic and are expected to change over time to address pressing national and global problems.

Irwin Weiser, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, sees the formation of the research synergy clusters as "an exciting and innovative way to help us focus on the positive impact that CLA research has on society's most important challenges."

The nine clusters are:

* Environment, Politics and Society.
* Culture, Narratives, Design: Digital Humanities.
* Health, Community and Society.
* Gender, Family and Work.
* Science, Technology and Society.
* Culture, Globalization and Community.
* Policy, Society and Government.
* Diversity and Inequality.
* Language and Communication.

More on the research synergy clusters is available at