In these lean economic times, traditional majors are in danger of being cut if they cannot keep up their numbers (at least in many small liberal arts colleges). Simultaneously, interdisciplinary programs and majors requiring the substantial support of traditional disciplines may be a way to diversify an institution's student base.
Assuming that departments are generally not healthiest as purely "service departments", it behooves us to find ways to support the traditional majors while encouraging vigorous participation in the development of interdisciplinary programs.
My question is this:
How does your institution handle the "major count" problem for departments contributing substantially to interdisciplinary programs and yet want to retain their traditional major? A bit more specifically, if major X is interdisciplinary, but requires substantial contribution from several upper-level (content near the level of major) courses from traditional department Y, at your institution how is Y credited its support of X in a way that preserves the major of department Y? I am interested in specific policies regarding everything from faculty load to administrative assessment of the health of a department.
Broadly, I am asking about administrative resource allocation policies that maximize diversity in the sense of preserving the identities of traditional disciplines while encouraging truly interdisciplinary efforts.
Apologies if this question is rough. I am certainly willing to sharpen it, if needed.