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UIF-4 General Information

Office of the President, Office of the Provost


The University Initiatives Fund (UIF) enables the University to seize opportunities at the frontiers of knowledge and learning or to reshape existing programs consistent with the highest and best needs of the institution. The fund uniquely allows the University to invest in initiatives which transcend traditional disciplinary boundaries while advancing the goals of colleges, schools, and administrative units. General criteria and procedures for managing the fund are outlined below.




Proposed initiatives should:

  1. promise significant academic impact, or
  2. provide substantially enhanced level of service to academic programs, and
  3. enhance quality and excellence, and
  4. provide for long-term significance and sustainability.

Additional considerations that might serve to enhance a proposal could include creative approaches to interdisciplinary 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; initiatives that improve productivity; initiatives that transform the work environment in significant ways. Funding for academic and administrative proposals is limited to the respective revenue contributed by each of the two categories of units. Collaborative projects that join academic and administrative forces are encouraged. Strong preference will be given to interdisciplinary proposals that cut across schools, colleges, and administrative units.

It is not required that each proposal satisfy each criterion or consideration, but the more aligned the proposals are with institutional and unit priorities or compelling opportunities the greater the chances of a favorable review. The unique aspect of the UIF is the permanent nature of the available funds. Hence, a key criterion is whether the proposed initiative justifies long-term investment and promises long-term impact.



Proposal Process

Preproposals are first submitted to the respective deans, vice presidents, and vice provosts, who in turn submit their selections to the provost (see Format and Deadlines). A limited number will be chosen for development into full proposals, and from these the provost will recommend funding to the president (see Review Process).

All proposals must be accompanied by letters from participating deans, vice presidents, and vice provosts articulating the ways in which the initiatives will promote their units' strategic goals.



Proposal Review Process

UIF proposals are reviewed by the provost, who may enlist special internal and external advisors that may include faculty, staff, or students as the circumstances suggest. Recommendations are presented for discussion to the Senate Planning and Budgeting Committee, Board of Deans and University Budget Committee. Final recommendations are submitted by the provost to the president, who will make the final decisions. A summary of dean's or vice president's and review committee's assessment will be provided upon request. Full disclosure will be made on decisions and awards.




In general, UIF awards will provide permanent funding, although some temporary allocations may be involved as well. The recapture of temporary allocations will be recycled into the UIF program. Up to 20% of the fund may be retained by the provost to respond to emerging opportunities that might arise between the biennial proposal deadlines. There is no obligation to allocate all the funds in any given round if the quality or thrust of the proposals does not warrant it, nor an obligation to retain 20% if the quality warrants allocation of greater than 80% of available funds. There should be sufficient flexibility when the funds are allocated to allow for unique investment opportunities that might arise.



Project Review

Funded UIF projects will be given a substantial review after four years of funding and every four years thereafter. Review committees will be appointed by the president and provost.