The Cluster is Key

The structural basis of the collaborative relationship between the anchor institution or department and its partners is the cluster. Clusters are a formal, cooperative arrangement involving different institutions and/or departments working together to:

  • decide what is needed in new faculty,
  • give students opportunities to experience faculty life in multiple institutional settings, and
  • increase awareness among faculty in both the doctoral university and partner institutions about changing expectations for faculty.

In each cluster, there is a steering committee that makes thoughtful decisions regarding the above issues. A representative from each institution or department must be on the steering committee. In addition, there should also be at least one doctoral student representative on the committee.


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