Nanotechnology is multi-disciplinary in nature. Biology, material science, engineering, physics, chemistry and informational sciences will all play an integral role in its development. Unfortunately, most university systems, for historical, economic and social reasons, tend to favor narrow specialization. If nanotechnology is to reach its potential, an academic system that nurtures and encourages cross-fertilization (among vastly different academic fields) will be necessary. The author will present the case for changing the system and outline the steps required to institutionalize the changes.