Interdisciplinary Education and Research Planning, Policy on [February 1, 2007]

University of Toronto Governing Council

Policy on Interdisciplinary Education and Research Planning

February 1, 2007

To request an official copy of this policy, contact:

The Office of the Governing Council
Room 106, Simcoe Hall
27 King’s College Circle
University of Toronto
Toronto, Ontario 
M5S 1A1

Phone: 416-978-6576
Fax: 416-978-8182



The University is committed to fostering and facilitating interdisciplinary teaching, learning and research as they are essential to our academic mission. The University has a rich tradition of interdisciplinary work as shown in the breadth and strength of its interdisciplinary programs and research. These serve to enhance scholarship and the student experience both in teaching and exposure to research.

The University has a strong foundation of disciplinary education and research. Academic disciplines define epistemologies, theoretical studies and standards for research and education in a well-defined area of inquiry. Disciplines serve as platforms and frameworks for further scholarship and are defined in part by traditional groupings of scholars within academic institutions. The University remains strongly committed to fostering strength and excellence in the disciplines, as strong disciplines are the basis for strong interdisciplinary work.


The University will foster and promote interdisciplinary education and research through the development of academic guidelines and practices, organizational structures, and budgetary and financial frameworks that permit and enable interdisciplinary education and research to grow. The University will promulgate best practices for the evaluation and promotion of teaching staff who are engaged in interdisciplinary research and teaching.

Development of guidelines for administrative frameworks and protocols for organizational structures, and planning for budgetary and financial frameworks that permit and enable interdisciplinary education, are delegated to the Office of the Vice-President and Provost. Any significant changes to such guidelines will be presented to Governing Council for information.

The creation and review of interdisciplinary units will be facilitated through this administrative framework. The Office of the Vice-President and Provost is charged with maintaining an inventory of units created under the guidelines for administrative frameworks.


The University, as part of its annual accountability reports, will assess interdisciplinary education and research.

Approved by Governing Council on February 1, 2007, replacing the Report of the Provostial Committee on Centres and Institutes (1984)