President's Initiatives Fund

The second round of the President’s Initiatives Fund, established with $100,000, will provide support to WCSU faculty, staff and students for projects that ADVANCE THE “LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES THAT DIFFERENCES CAN CREATE.”  This goal is an important element of Goal 3 (“Diverse University Community”) of the university’s Strategic Plan, which seeks to “further develop an environment that values and affirms the unique contributions of Western’s many constituent populations, recognizes the learning opportunities that differences can create, and strengthens connections among our various community members.”

Grants will be awarded for projects completed during the 2008 and 2009 calendar years.  These will provide one-time funding for projects or initiatives that develop innovative ways to employ the educational resources of the university and its broader community to create learning experiences grounded in the exposure to human, intellectual or geographic differences.  Particularly successful projects may be considered for continuing funding, either from the university or outside sources.

Examples of potentially successful projects might include:

  1. Educational initiatives that expose students to human conditions and experiences different from their own.
  2. Educational partnerships that foster the development of opportunities to learn through the confrontation and examination of differences.
  3. Educational initiatives that expose students to intellectual differences through inter- or multi-disciplinary approaches to significant issues.
  4. Projects that enhance the university’s capacity to offer learning opportunities that feature exposure to human, intellectual or geographic differences.

Selection Process:
Proposals will be screened by a selection committee comprised of representatives from the faculty of each school, the University Planning and Budgeting Committee, the Student Government Association, the Division of Student Life, and WCSU’s leadership.  Provost Linda Rinker will serve as chair of the group.  This committee will make recommendations to the President, who will determine the final recipients of funding.

Selection Criteria:
Proposals will be evaluated on how creatively and effectively they advance “the learning opportunities that differences can create.”  Specific factors that will be rated include the numbers of stakeholders affected by the project and the measurable impact the project has on enhancing educational outcomes, increasing WCSU’s public visibility or generating potential new streams of revenue.”  Proposals will also be evaluated on their consistency with Goal 3 of the Strategic Plan.  Proposals that feature cooperation between faculty and staff and students will be especially welcome.

Application Process:
Proposals for funding for projects beginning in the Spring Semester, 2008, will be due by January 11, 2008.  Application materials will be available by October 18, 2007 on the website.

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