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

The Boldly Creative Strategic Academic Enrichment Initiative will focus on funding promising academic programs and research projects 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 disciplinary diversity.
  • Advance Miami’s reputation for excellence and innovation in broad, transdisciplinary 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.
  • 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.

Rationale

The University is committed to a significant investment in the Strategic Academic Enrichment Initiative to fund faculty-developed and faculty-led programs 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 2020, 64 percent of Ohio’s workforce will require a postsecondary education, yet only 43.2 percent of Ohio adults will 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 transdisciplinary curricula and research connecting academic units; and engage external partners. During the 2018 spring semester, funds will be invested in three pilot areas: (i) Data Analytics (ii) Nursing and (iii) Professional Masters programs (degrees or certificates), as faculty are already working on projects in these areas. In the fall of 2018, faculty were encouraged to submit preproposals for review and evaluation for future programs. From these preproposals, a select few were invited to submit a full proposal in spring of 2019. Funds will be 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.

Strategic Academic Enrichment Fund Allocation Process

SPRING 2018: To launch this program, limited funding will be released by the end of Spring 2018 to support pilot programs. Some faculty had already been working to develop programs and these have focused on three areas. Because these projects are already underway and meet the criteria listed above, pending review and approval, seed funds will be made available to support these pilot projects.

A. Focus areas for Pilot Programs

  1. Data Analytics: Provide seed money for a project from CADS to provide specific training in health care analytics for incumbent employees. It is expected this program will result in broader applications for other health care providers and other industries beyond health care.
  2. Nursing: Provide seed money to increase the number of students admitted into the nursing program, including Oxford and online students. This may include using funds to ensure the first two years of the nursing curriculum is available in Oxford prior to students completing the nursing curriculum and clinical training on the Regional Campuses.
  3. Professional Master’s Programs or Professionally-Oriented Certificates: Seed money will be provided to support the development of professional Master’s Programs or professionally–oriented certificates. Several faculty were already working on projects that meet the criteria for these funds and were seeking resources; they will have the opportunity to get seed funding.

To secure seed funds, the faculty must develop a brief proposal in consultation with the appropriate deans’ office(s). The proposal must include:

  • Preliminary budget: estimated costs/expenses and revenue
  • Enrollment projections, including an indication of target population of students for the program

The Deans will review and evaluate these proposals, and make recommendations to the Provost who will consult with the President before awarding funding.

For funding beyond one year, faculty proposers will need to follow the process described below for Round 1.

Round 1: Application Process AY 2018-19

Preproposals

Submission Date: Monday, October 1, 2018

Calls for preproposals will come in two forms:

  1. Open call to faculty for preproposals (Open focus areas to be identified by faculty)
  2. Call for preproposals that focus on identified areas, e.g., data analytics, health care, professional Masters credentials (degrees and/or certificates)

Additional Guidelines:

  • Preproposals are strictly limited to four pages (minimum 11 point font).
  • Submissions are to be sent directly to: boldlycreative@miamioh.edu.
  • Cover sheet (attached) 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
  • Description of compliance issues

Preproposal Format

  1. Specific Aims/Goals – Clearly define specific aims/goals, as well as the purpose and rationale for how the program will build on existing programs and/or how it will advance the mission of the University. Indicate how the program will impact Miami’s ability to offer new academic programs that align with the foundation principles of the 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 will lead to increased student demand and retention. Identify how the program will potentially enhance the following areas: student experiential learning, cross-disciplinary scholarship and teaching, leverage and imbed principles of our liberal arts education, advance inclusive excellence and diversity, engage the community, build partnerships with external partners and stakeholders, and/or create societal value, entrepreneurship and 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 – Identify the curriculum, 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 should be accessible/available to all students, e.g. it may not be offered only in the summer or during winter term (use of financial aid is restricted) and may not include a net new fee. [Recommended 1 ½ pages].
  5. Preliminary Budget – 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 demands on and new library resources. Programs may not increase costs for students. Develop the preliminary budget in consultation with the appropriate Dean(s)' office(s). [Recommended ½ page].
  6. Compliance – Note whether the program will:
    • Be delivered fully online or in hybrid format
    • Be delivered at offsite location
    • 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. References – (not included in 4-page limit)
  8. CV – Include a two-page updated CV for each faculty member involved in the program

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 pre-proposers invited to submit full proposals by Monday, November 5, 2018
    • Feedback will be provided to all faculty who submit preproposals

Full Proposal

Submission Date: Monday, March 11, 2019

Full Proposal format will be the same as that used for preproposals but with further, more complete elaboration of each section. Proposals should be a maximum of 11 pages.

  • Pay particular attention to the need to provide more details in the budget section
  • 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 – 1 ½ pages]
  3. Target Audience – [Recommended 1-2 pages]
  4. Academics – [Recommended 4-5 pages]
  5. Budget – Plan and Funding Request [Recommended 1-2 pages]

Additional Guidelines for Budget - Need five-year budget, including:

  • Projected enrollments for all five years of the budget plan and estimated instructional fee revenue following RCM methodology
  • 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
  • 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
  • Articulation of needed and existing infrastructure support, e.g., libraries, e-learning, facilities, etc.

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. References – (not included in 4-page limit)
  2. CV – Include a two-page CV for each faculty member involved in the program

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 plan that is submitted to project 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 by April 22, 2019.

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 to boldlycreative@MiamiOH.edu. This process will be repeated annually and continue until funds are expended.