Here's a link to the full article: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/27/opinion/27taylor.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1
but I'd like to highlight one point.
The author starts to talk about six ways that universities need to be restructured and rethought as we move forward in today's dynamic world. One of these suggestions ties in directly with what I'm trying to do in my interdisciplinary studies major. Sometimes it's good to know that other people out there understand your vision. Check it out:
"2. Abolish permanent departments, even for undergraduate education, and create problem-focused programs. These constantly evolving programs would have sunset clauses, and every seven years each one should be evaluated and either abolished, continued or significantly changed. It is possible to imagine a broad range of topics around which such zones of inquiry could be organized: Mind, Body, Law, Information, Networks, Language, Space, Time, Media, Money, Life and Water.
Consider, for example, a Water program. In the coming decades, water will become a more pressing problem than oil, and the quantity, quality and distribution of water will pose significant scientific, technological and ecological difficulties as well as serious political and economic challenges. These vexing practical problems cannot be adequately addressed without also considering important philosophical, religious and ethical issues. After all, beliefs shape practices as much as practices shape beliefs.A Water program would bring together people in the humanities, arts, social and natural sciences with representatives from professional schools like medicine, law, business, engineering, social work, theology and architecture. Through the intersection of multiple perspectives and approaches, new theoretical insights will develop and unexpected practical solutions will emerge."
Now he might be a bit optimistic about how quickly and radically universities can change (they are sooo attached to the department model, at least UD is), but I don't see why we can't move towards more collaboration both formally and informally.
Something to think about and take back to your school at the very least.