While investigating the emeritus list at Davis, ran across an interview with Roland Peterson. He discusses the inception of the interdisciplenary art practice at this UC. Roland was one of the first teachers in the Art Department, and his conversation helped me put the Davis approach in context:
...each new faculty member brought in new ideas. And the so-called well balanced art department was soon to form, not in one direction but in many different diversified directions. So as the department became larger and more people became involved in terms of the faculty . . . Roy De Forest came onto the faculty, Manuel Neri and so forth. Many, many new energetic people were entering into the scene. So all of this was energizing, not only the art department, but it was energizing the rest of the faculty as well.
full article at smithsonian institute