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K-State Today

November 14, 2023

Provost's office announces new Academic Innovation Fund

Submitted by Office of the Provost

The Next-Gen K-State strategic plan contains a clear focus on academic innovation. As the plan highlights, "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."

The Office of the Provost is launching a new Academic Innovation Fund. The university is investing up to $1 million in new academic programs in fiscal year 2024 as part of the new One-K-State strategic planning investment fund. A call for proposals for credit and noncredit learning experiences has been established, and this call is designed to spur creative curricular proposals universitywide. Proposals may include new degree programs at all levels, minors, certificates, and both credit and noncredit microcredentials.

As Provost and Executive Vice President Charles Taber has shared, "Of all the transformations envisioned in the Next-Gen Strategic Plan, the one that excites me most is this call to reimagine our portfolio of offerings to serve all kinds of learners and all kinds of workforce and skill needs. By building attractive and valuable academic programs and microcredentials in all modalities, we help redefine who we are and how we serve our fundamental mission."

A faculty and administrative committee has been established to guide this initiative and review the proposals:

  • Tanya Gonzalez, interim associate provost for institutional effectiveness, co-chair.
  • Karen Pedersen, dean of K-State Global Campus, co-chair.
  • Hansin Bilgili, assistant professor, department of management, College of Business Administration.
  • Scott Barton, assistant professor, department of interior architecture and industrial design, College of Architecture, Planning & Design. 
  • Jennifer Bormann, professor, department of animal sciences and industry, College of Agriculture. 
  • Don Kurtz, professor, department of sociology, anthropology, and social work, College of Arts and Sciences. 
  • Mindy Markham, professor, 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 Communication, College of Arts and Sciences.

Priority will be 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 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 differentiators.
  • Support the long-term financial viability of the university.

Proposals will be accepted until Friday, March 1, 2024. Funded proposals will be announced in April. For more information about the timeline and application process, faculty and staff are encouraged to review the details for the Academic Innovation Fund on the provost's website. Questions may be sent to academicinnovation@k-state.edu