Academic Innovation Fund (AIF) Overview
The Next-Gen K-State strategic plan emphasizes academic innovation: “we must reimagine everything about how we educate and prepare learners – broadly challenging ourselves to move nimbly beyond our traditional approaches and lean into a culture of disruption, agility and change.”
In the Fall of 2023, the Office of the Provost launched a new Academic Innovation Fund (AIF) to invest up to $1 million in new academic programs, including microcredentials in the FY24 year. A call for proposals has been established designed to spur creative curricular proposals university-wide.
Proposals may include new degree programs at all levels, minors, certificates as well as credit and noncredit microcredentials. Proposals may target existing or new audiences with a focus on positioning K-State as the first-choice education and business partner in Kansas. Additionally, proposals may build on existing curriculum or propose totally new curriculum.
Priority is given to proposals that:
- Meet regional, national or international learner or workplace needs of the future
- Drive curricular innovation and academic excellence at K-State, using new and/or flexible methods to present up-to-date and rigorous disciplinary learning experiences
- Align with the Next-Gen K-State strategic plan or realize other key outcomes and/or differentiators
- Support the long-term financial viability of the university.
Academic Investment Fund Key Dates
- November 14, 2023: Academic Innovation Fund announced in K-State Today
- December 1, 2023: Electronic version of the proposal submission form launched
- December 5, 2023: “Submitting an Academic Innovation Fund Proposal” webinar
- March 1, 2024: Completed proposals, with department head and dean signatures, are due by midnight central time
- March 4 – 25: Proposal under review by the AIF Review Team
- Week of March 25: Review team provides recommendations to provost and notifications go out to PI’s, department heads, and deans
- Week of April 1: Funded proposals are announced in K-State Today
Academic Investment Fund Proposal Documents
The proposal submission form and rubric for the FY24 funding cycle:
Additional submission considerations:
- The static Word version of the proposal submission form mirrors the electronic version of the form. As noted in the key dates section, the electronic form will be posted on this website in December, 2023.
- PI’s should reach out to the Market Intelligence and Analysis team (https://global.k-state.edu/market-research/) early to secure their assistance with market need, evidence of demand, and competitor analysis.
- For proposals to be considered complete, the signature of the PI, department head and dean are required before being reviewed.
- Interdisciplinary proposals require the signature of all impacted departments and colleges.
- Please note, all programs and microcredentials must eventually be approved through the appropriate academic governance processes. The receipt of Academic Innovation Funds does not guarantee Faculty Senate approval.
Academic Investment Fund Review Team
- Tanya Gonzalez, Professor of English and Interim Associate Provost for Institutional Effectiveness, Co-Chair
- Karen Pedersen, Dean of Global Campus, Co-Chair
- Hansin Bilgili, Assistant Professor, Department of Management, College of Business Administration
- Scott Barton, Assistant Professor, Department of Interior Architecture & Industrial Design, College of Architecture, Planning & Design
- Jennifer Bormann, Professor, Department of Animal Sciences and Industry, College of Agriculture
- Don Kurtz, Professor and Department Head, Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work, College of Arts and Sciences
- Mindy Markham, Professor and Department Head, Department of Applied Human Sciences, College of Health and Human Sciences
- Michael Oetken, Assistant Professor, Department of Integrated Studies, College of Technology and Aviation
- Heather Woods, Associate Professor and Interim Director, A.Q. Miller School of Media and Communications, College of Arts and Sciences
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