MOU for Interdisciplinary Programs

Completion of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is strongly encouraged for all interdisciplinary graduate programs whose delivery engages the resources (faculty, courses, facilities, or financial resources) of multiple colleges. An MOU is required for intercollegiate, interdisciplinary degree-granting programs that have multiple Academic_Plan owners (i.e., colleges that split the 25 percent of tuition based on the college of the student’s enrollment) and identify the Graduate School as the degree-awarding unit.

Faculty proposing new and changed interdisciplinary programs may wish to adapt a template MOU to fit their program’s particular circumstances.  Within this general framework, the MOU should be as complete and detailed as possible to eliminate ambiguity.  In addition to the elements identified in the template MOU, faculty should also carefully consider (and may wish to address in their program’s MOU) other aspects of shared program administration such as:

  • Uniform workload expectations, salary, and stipend levels for program graduate students, particularly if these vary among the colleges that contribute to the program’s support
  • Mechanisms to encourage and reward participation in the graduate program by faculty from other units that are not signatories on the MOU (including recognition for teaching courses in the program and advising its students)
  • Mechanisms by which interdisciplinary program faculty may have input to such matters as faculty hiring, and guidelines for evaluation, promotion and tenure, in units that are signatories on the MOU and contribute to the graduate program in specific ways