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The University Initiatives Fund Guidelines 1997

University of Washington
Office of the President

The UIF program will support a relatively small number of initiatives that advance the goals of the institution in tangible and measurable ways. This fund will enable the University to seize opportunities that would otherwise be lost, and in particular, to invest in those that transcend traditional disciplinary boundaries. Such investments require a certain tolerance for risk, because the outcomes of such novel initiatives cannot always be anticipated. General criteria and procedures for managing the Fund are outlined below under the two separate categories of academic initiatives and administrative initiatives.

Academic Initiatives

Proposed academic initiatives should:
  1. promise significant academic impact,
  2. enhance quality and excellence, and
  3. provide for long term significance and sustainability
Additional considerations that might serve to enhance a proposal could include: creative approaches to interdisciplinary or discipline based opportunities; initiatives that position the University to become a leader in a field/arena; initiatives that emphasize areas in which the University has comparative advantages; proposals that can benefit from special leverage (external funding sources, collaborations, etc.); proposals that recognize the University's unique role in the state, region and beyond; initiatives that respond to significant public issues of our region and time; initiatives that foster cooperation and collaboration between and across multiple units.

Administrative Initiatives

Proposed administrative initiatives should:
  1. enhance academic performance or success,
  2. fundamentally restructure management or operational systems or processes,
  3. provide substantially enhanced level of needed or requested service, and/or
  4. foster cooperative ventures between units.
Other considerations can be suggested that, although they may change with time, might serve as additional guidelines that could enhance the strength of a proposed initiative. These could include: initiatives that achieve greater efficiency of operations, or improve productivity; initiatives that transform the work environment in significant ways; initiatives that tend to focus on underlying process rather than historical structure. It is not required that each proposal satisfy each criterion or consideration, but the more that are satisfied, naturally, the greater the chances of a favorable review.

Proposal and Award Process

Major competition once a biennium; preproposal deadline November 1, 1996.
Formal announcement of competition including guidelines, format and length.
All proposals from deans and vice presidents. Final proposals due February 1, 1997.
Proposals can be funded on a permanent or temporary basis.
Allocation of up to 80% during major biennial competition; up to 20% for emerging opportunities without formal competition.
Unallocated funds shall be reserved for additional competition.

Decision Process

Provost receives proposals; follows usual consultation and review procedures.
Provost may enlist special internal and external advisors.
Recommendations presented to SPBC, Board of Deans and UBC.
Final recommendations submitted to President who makes funding decisions.

Other Operational Elements

Consider matching opportunities whenever practical.
Full disclosure on decisions and awards.
Periodic review of awards summarizing use of funds and assessing the impact.

Imaginary Examples

Recruiting key faculty member(s) to establish and staff a new program, possibly including support funds.
Developing a new financial management data processing system.
Providing matching resources to create a new, major, externally funded research center.
Coordinating efforts across multiple units to address broad intellectual challenges, e.g.,

These guidelines have been reviewed, revised and approved by the Faculty Senate Planning and Budgeting Committee, the University Budget Committee, the Board of Deans, and the central administration.

Final revision May 1, 1996.

UIF (University Initiative Fund) UIF Article Archive