Collaboration has many benefits, but can also be difficult due to increased coordination, incompatible work styles or research approaches, and difficulty in communication. These problems are often exacerbated by distance, which can make collaboration between departments on a single campus more attractive; particularly as universities invest in interdisciplinary facilities. At some universities, however, some departments may be located on a separate campus, hundreds of miles away. This creates unique challenges for these universities in encouraging and supporting collaboration. There have been few systematic studies, however, of collaborations between campuses of a single institution. We report on a qualitative study of collaborations between the medical college and other departments of our university, located 230 miles apart. Results suggest that participants felt it was very important to build social ties or draw on existing experience with potential collaborators prior to starting a project. Participants also identified unexpected institutional obstacles to working effectively.