Eric Wang

Yale will seek donations for interdisciplinary collaborations between schools, departments and programs in the long-awaited upcoming capital campaign, according to Yale successor trustee Douglas Warner III ‘68.

Since entering the silent phase of the campaign this July — in which development officials and administrators quietly raise a sizable portion of the campaign funds — University administrators have been building relationships with potential major donors and identifying intersections between the University’s needs and donor’s interests, according to Vice President for Development Joan O’Neill. In an interview with the News, Warner emphasized University President Peter Salovey’s vision for “one Yale,” or what he explained to be a Yale with more joint degrees, seminars and appointments across departments and schools.

“Yale is an institution that is broad in scope — we have 12, soon to be 13, professional schools in addition to the College and the Graduate School,” Salovey said in a statement to the News. “But we are also a close-knit community on a fairly dense campus with many schools of modest size compared to our peers. This means our university possesses a distinct advantage when it comes to collaboration: we have experts in nearly every field of study you could imagine, and they are close together and interact.”

Warner said that because Yale has more professional schools and programs than its peer institutions, the University needs “to be better at connecting that breadth so that students get access to the total Yale.” While Princeton has no professional schools, Harvard University has 12 degree-granting schools.

Following years of deliberations, the Yale Corporation approved the decision to open the Yale Jackson School for Global Affairs in 2022 last week. In an interview with the News, Director of the Jackson Institute of Global Affairs Jim Levinsohn said the new school, which requires an additional $200 million, embodies Salovey’s vision for a more unified Yale.

“I think the model that the Chevalier committee has recommended … will ensure interconnectedness within Yale,” Levinsohn said. “Faculty [members] will be interconnected, Jackson students will take classes at other schools, and we will welcome … other students to take classes at Jackson. President Salovey’s vision of ‘one Yale’ is completely consistent with the way we will build Jackson.”

In his Presidential inauguration address in 2013, Salovey promised to make Yale a more “interdependent community.” As the University community grows bigger and becomes more diverse, Yale should preserve its “intimacy and shared sense of purpose,” Salovey said in his speech. At the time, however, Salovey did not specify which projects or initiatives he would implement or improve to achieve such a mission.

Prior to Salovey’s inauguration, former University President Richard Levin instituted a number of programs that encourage interdisciplinary collaboration. In 2011, Levin announced the creation of the Yale Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage, funded by a $25 million gift from Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin ’78. The Institute brings together Yale’s collections and “people from nearly every field” — such as scientists, art historians, political scientists and economists — to study human culture and the natural world, Salovey said in an email to the News.

Under Levin, the University also established the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication in 2005, where, according to Salovey, data science, social science and humanistic approaches are brought together to change attitudes and policy on climate change.

In an email to the News, Salovey said that since his inauguration, he has developed Yale’s academic priorities — which include both “intellectual efforts and facilities projects” — to create a more unified university. Under his presidency, Yale College introduced the Neuroscience major, which was jointly designed by the Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology and the Department of Psychology. Salovey added that the Yale Africa Initiative — which started with his 2013 inaugural promise to increase research and teachings about Africa at Yale — now involves around 150 scholars researching the continent’s health systems, politics, economics and anthropology.

Yale’s capital campaign will likely go public in 2021, according to O’Neill.

Serena Cho |