UW faculty members David Baker (Biochemistry; Director of UW’s Institute for Protein Design), Tom Daniel (Biology; Co-Director of the Institute of Neuroengineering), Ed Lazowska (CSE; Director of the eScience Institute) and Dan Schwartz (Chemical Engineering; Director of the Clean Energy Institute) discuss the role of institutes at universities:
“University research institutes such as ours eliminate sclerotic silos and bureaucratic boundaries by deftly blending teams of super-smart students, faculty, and research scientists from interconnected subject areas. As a result, these institutions stand the best chance of identifying and solving the toughest scientific and technological challenges of our age – they are confronting tomorrow today….
“These institutes stand in stark contrast to the traditional university structures of schools, colleges, and departments, which take years to create and decades — if not centuries — to eliminate. Success in the 21st Century depends upon agility. When an opportunity presents itself, bring together the optimal set of individuals to respond. When another opportunity succeeds it, restructure.”
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