Boldly Creative: Strategic Academic Enrichment Initiative

Chris Sutter works with ESP Class in FSB
 Actors onstage in a scene from Street Scene Theatre, CCA
 Professor Tomoyasu works in biology lab, CAS
 Students and professor work together in kinesiology lab, EHS

Miami University's new strategic plan calls for the University to innovate and thrive in a rapidly changing environment, invest in proactive solutions, and invigorate our process and culture to clear pathways for creative solutions. In keeping with these objectives, the Boldly Creative Strategic Academic Enrichment Initiative is a competitive process to generate and fund promising academic programs, pioneering and cross-disciplinary research projects and other cutting-edge learning initiatives that meet the following criteria:

  • Advance knowledge in the professional fields considered most in demand throughout Ohio, the region and the nation.
  • Prepare students with the versatile skills and mindset to meet the needs of a demanding and dynamic workforce, with an emphasis on 21st century liberal education outcomes for success.
  • Advance Miami’s reputation for excellence and innovation in broad, trans- and inter-disciplinary areas of research and pedagogy.
  • Develop/enhance partnerships from the government, non-profit, corporate, higher education and/or health care sectors to enhance programming and learning outcomes.
  • Promote one or more objectives and recommendations of the strategic plan
  • Demonstrate a long-term sustainability plan that generates net new revenue by increasing enrollment beyond the residential capacity of the Oxford campus or from external sources. This may include programming that offers professional credentials, develops increased e-learning offerings that will attract students beyond Oxford’s residential population, and/or supports growth on Regional Campuses.


The University is committed to a significant investment in the Strategic Academic Enrichment Initiative to fund faculty-developed and faculty-led programs, projects and initiatives designed to prepare students to meet the current and future needs of a global society. These programs will advance academic excellence; enhance research competitiveness; build connectivity between campus units; build a foundation for a sustainable future; and support, enhance and attract faculty whose scholarship prepares students for a competitive and ever-changing world.

Successful programs will offer an education that prepares students with the knowledge to succeed at the cutting edge of a technologically and data-driven world, while instilling the traditional liberal education capacities to think critically, communicate effectively, act ethically, and remain nimble and responsive – or as President Crawford has stated, “to liberate each person’s power for a meaningful life and career.”

These programs will contribute significantly to meet the demands and needs of our local, national and global societies by closing the workforce talent gap. For example, in our state alone, estimates are that by 64% of Ohio’s workforce require a postsecondary education, yet only 43.2% of Ohio adults possess such an education (Lumina Foundation).

In seizing this critical opportunity, Miami will draw upon its historic liberal arts commitment, its traditional success in preparing students for professional careers, its exceptional faculty, and its growing commitment to experiential learning. Central to the success of Miami’s academic experience is our capacity to offer and sustain innovative curricula that prepare students to face challenges and opportunities of the future.

Additionally, we will offer new outstanding academic programs that will attract a diverse demographic of students while strengthening our academic reputation and scholarly standing and generate new net revenue. While the efficiencies gained through the 2010 Strategic Priorities Task Force and Miami 2020 Plan have placed the University on a stable financial foundation, we must be proactive to sustain our excellence. As a result, Miami must be boldly creative in developing financially successful and sustainable programming that envisions tomorrow’s possibilities while maximizing the value of every available resource.

Executive Summary

The resources in the Strategic Academic Enrichment Initiative will be committed to programs that: advance knowledge; prepare versatile, analytical and flexible students; advance Miami’s reputation for excellence and innovation; generate new sources of revenue; may involve trans- and inter-disciplinary curricula and research connecting academic units; and engage external partners. During the 2018-2019 academic year, seven (7) projects were provided initial funding

Funds are released each spring on an annual basis. Annual reports will be required by program sponsors, and additional funding will depend on if the goals and metrics outlined in the proposal are met.


  • Preproposals: November 4, 2019
  • Final Proposals: March 2, 2020

Round 2: Application Process AY 2019-20


Submission Date: Monday, November 4, 2019 

  • Preproposals are strictly limited to four pages (minimum 11 point font).
  • Submissions are to be sent directly to:
  • Cover sheet with the names and signatures of all proposers and dean(s) must be completed and submitted with the preproposal. 
  • All preproposals require the signature of the dean(s) of every division represented by faculty submitting the preproposal.

Faculty should ensure they have the support of the appropriate dean(s) as they develop the preproposal and should consult with them on:

  • Preliminary Budget: estimated costs/expenses and revenue
  • Enrollment projections and target population of students for the program
  • Potential compliance issues

Preproposal Format

  1. Specific Aims/Goals – Clearly define specific aims/goals, as well as the purpose and rationale for how the project will advance the mission of the University and is aligned with the new strategic plan and the foundation principles of the Boldly Creative Strategic Academic Enrichment Initiative. Describe clearly the metrics that will be used to assess progress toward achieving the specific aims/goals. Identify benchmarks, when available. [Recommended ½ -1 page].
  2. Broader Impacts – Describe how the proposal position Miami to thrive in the current dynamic, competitive higher education environment, catalyze new ways of learning, and galvanize our students success. Identify how the program will potentially be pioneering in one or more of the following areas: student experiential learning, cross-disciplinary scholarship and teaching, new ways to approach liberal arts education, inclusive excellence and diversity, community engagement, partnerships with external partners and stakeholders, entrepreneurship and workplace or economic development. [Recommended ½ page].
  3. Target Audience & Projected Enrollment – Identify the specific audience targeted by the program, e.g. traditional, residential students in Oxford; non-traditional students; working professionals; full-time students; part-time students; alumni, etc. Include the expected class size/capacity, mode of delivery (on ground, online) and program location (Oxford, Regional Campuses, Voice of America Learning Center, other). Provide evidence that the program will appeal to the audience identified or describe a plan to determine that the program will do so. NB: Enrollment assumptions (including projected enrollments over time) must be included. These assumptions must:
    • Be supported with evidence, i.e. information regarding other programs that may already be in place;
    • Consider recruitment strategies [Recommended ½ page].
  4. Academics – Summarize the curriculum as well as, the potential for internships or other forms of experiential learning. Indicate current partnerships that will be available to support these opportunities and/or identify other potential partners that will likely be required. To the greatest extent possible, programs and initiatives should be inclusive and accessible/available to all students. For example, proposals should steer away from opportunities only in the summer or during winter term (use of financial aid is restricted) or that include a net new fee. [Recommended 1 ½ pages].
  5. Preliminary Budget –Develop the preliminary budget in consultation with the appropriate dean(s)' office(s). Be sure to identify sources of potential additional, new revenues, including external funding for research through government, corporations or foundations, philanthropy, or other mechanisms. Consider staffing, facilities and support resources that may be required, including new library resources and other equipment needed. Programs may not increase costs for students. [Recommended ½ page].
  6. Compliance – If proposing a new academic program, please note whether the program will:
    • Be delivered fully online or in hybrid format
    • Be delivered at offsite location (if so, list the location(s))
    • Be delivered in flexible or accelerated format
    • Involve an off-campus experience for students
    • Have instructional or administrative staff working at offsite location
    • Be similar to other programs at Miami
    • Involve licensure and/or special accreditation
    • Be Title IV eligible (students eligible for financial aid)
  7. Works Cited and Other References – (not included in 4-page limit)
  8. CV – Include a two-page updated CV for each faculty member involved in the programs (not included in 4-page limit)
  9. Cover Sheet Template is currently available upon request ( 

Preproposal Review

  1. Finance and Business Services will review, evaluate and provide feedback to the Deans and Provost regarding the preliminary budget.
  2. EMSS will review, evaluate and provide feedback to the Deans and Provost regarding enrollment projections
  3. Deans may seek additional expertise, as necessary
  4. Deans make recommendations to the Provost
  5. Provost and President select preproposers invited to submit full proposals by the end of fall semester.
    • Feedback will be provided to all faculty who submit preproposals

Full Proposal

Submission Date: Monday, March 2, 2020

Full Proposal format will be the same as that used for preproposals but with further elaboration of each section. The tone and content should be written for a non-specialized audience. Proposals should be a maximum of 11 pages.

  • Pay particular attention to the need to provide accurate information in the budget template. 
  • Be sure to pay attention to and to address reviewers’ comments from the preproposal.
  • All full proposals require the signature of the Dean(s) of every division represented by faculty submitting the full proposal

Full Proposal Format

  1. Specific Aims/Goals – [Recommended 1 page]
  2. Broader Impacts – [Recommended 1-2 pages]
  3. Target Audience – [Recommended 1-2 pages]
  4. Academics – [Recommended 4-8 pages]
  5. Budget – Use the budget template (currently available upon request ( and will be posted as soon as it is remediated and accessible) following the listed guidelines:
  • Calculate projected enrollments for all five years of the budget plan and estimated instructional fee revenue following RCM methodology;
  • Identify other sources of funding for the initiative such as grants, gifts, endowed earning, etc. should be included in the budget plan
  • Summary of ongoing costs of program delivery should be clearly shown across all five years of the budget plan
  • Include one-time costs such as special space needs, equipment, technology requirements, consultants, etc. should be identified separately from the ongoing cost of delivering the program
  • Articulate needed and existing infrastructure support, e.g., libraries, e-learning, facilities, etc.
  • Indirect costs do not need to be included

Please note

  • State Share of Instruction need not be shown in the budget plan. Finance and Business Services (FBS) Office will provide this information following the proposal submission
  • Funding request should be identified as part of the budget plan, including when the start-up funding will no longer be needed and when the revenue generated by the program exceeds the cost of delivering the program
  • When making assumptions about financial outcomes from the program, it is important to note that for the first 3-4 years, the program may cost more than it generates; however, the program should be producing a surplus by no later than Year Five
  1. Additional Materials – (not included in 11-page limit)
    • Works Cited and Other References
    • Letters of Support
    • CV – Include a two-page CV for each faculty member involved in the program
    • Additional Appendices - Please keep these to the bare minimum as long set of appendices may not be scrutinized by the reviewers.

Full Proposal Evaluation

  1. Business and Finance will review and provide input/feedback to include in overall evaluation
    • Each proposal will be ranked based on its financial performance
    • FBS will use the five-year budget template that is submitted to project and evaluate the surplus that can be expected from the initiative over the next five years as part of the financial evaluation
  2. Deans review and make recommendations to the Provost and President. Deans may seek input regarding strengths and weaknesses of the proposal from: 
    • External stakeholders, as necessary, e.g. industry partners, alumni, high school teachers, thought leaders
    • Faculty review groups (faculty with expertise identified by Deans)
    • Fiscal Priorities (budget)
    • FBS and Enrollment Management/Admission 
  3. The Provost, in consultation with the President, will make final decisions regarding funding for programs.

Proposals will be rated as follows:

  • Excellent: All criteria clearly - met Funded fully
  • Very Strong: Most criteria clearly met - Funded at a reduced level
  • Strong: At least half criteria clearly met - Recommend revision for resubmission next year
  • Not competitive at this time: Major revisions needed. - Consider resubmission

Please note:

  • Funding for Excellent and Very Strong Proposals will be released in annual increments and continued funding will depend upon successfully achieving clearly articulated annual goals.
  • Feedback will be provided to all faculty who submit proposals.
  • Faculty will be notified of the funding decision in April 2020.

Annual Review Process

For each of the funding years of a program, an annual report must be submitted for review. The report must:

  • Follow the prescribed annual report template
  • Include a review of the annual benchmarks and, if revisions to benchmarks are made, a rationale for the revision

Reviewers (deans/Provost) may reach out to external stakeholders, as needed.

Each proposal will be given one of three possible outcomes:

  • Continue funding - All/most benchmarks are met; progress is made as defined
  • Continue with caution - Some benchmarks are being met, but progress is slow
  • Terminate funding - Benchmarks are not being met; little to no progress demonstrated

Please send any questions and requests for templates to This process will be repeated annually and continue until funds are expended.