At a time when society continues to question whether a college education is worth the investment, such multidisciplinary centers that connect faculty and students across subject areas might even “represent a possible future for universities,” suggests Andrew J. Hoffman, a professor at the University of Michigan (UM) and the co-author of a study released this month that explores the characteristics, activities, challenges and opportunities for sustainability institutes. “These places are doing applied work, trying to bring all the disciplines together,” says Hoffman.

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