AASCU Innovations Exchange
Your Source for innovation in Public Higher Education

Institutional Change Processes

Creating an Employee Enrichment Program (At No Cost) California State University, Northridge Project Description: Promote employee engagement during a long period of financial constraints.  California State University, Northridge marshaled internal faculty and staff support to offer programming that has become known as the “Community of Caring.” Over the past four years the university has offered innovative programs and services that emphasize the well-being of faculty and staff (emotionally, physically, and financially). There is no fee for participation. Professionals within the community provide services for free to support their colleagues during this difficult financial period. Current classes include: a series on diet and nutrition, and programs on procrastination, forgiveness, positive self, resiliency, and surviving the holiday blues. In addition, volunteers lead regular mindfulness sessions, yoga classes, book discussions, and meditation/relaxation programs. Additionally, local non-profit and government agencies provide ongoing services and special events at no cost.On-site free classes, seminars, and discussion groups open to all faculty and staff (offered during regular business hours and during scheduled lunch periods.)Web-based Resources Directory (community resources and wellness opportunities available on campus).Self help library. Read more >>

Creating an Innovation Institute to Fast-Track Partnerships, Outcomes and Revenues University of West Florida Project Description: The Innovation Institute at the University of West Florida was formed in July 2013 as a keystone innovation organization of Academic Affairs, leading high profile institutional and state initiatives to successful completion by some of the most creative minds in the academy. The Institute seeks to develop opportunities for innovative practice through partnerships with colleges, academic departments, enrollment management, information technology, institutions throughout Florida, national leaders in the field, community/business partners and many others to solve educational challenges in new ways. Resources are being invested to connect stakeholders and affect positive educational change to support major challenges such as high demand new programs, serving non-degree completers to come back to school and streamlining the educational process to reduce the cost of education. Given this need, the Provost created the Innovation Institute to serve as a fast track ‘red team’ to circle around defined challenges, bring in the right people to assist and rapidly launch new approaches to support campus growth, focus on non-traditional and graduate students, and other sources of income to support the institution during an era of constrained state funding and overall increased costs.  The first project of the Innovation Institute was to lead a statewide effort to reach out to the 2.2 million adults that have some college and no degree. This initiative was funded by the Florida legislature with year one funds being set at $4 million and year two funds set at $6 million. The Institute has eleven partner institutions that have joined together to offer accelerated, fully online programs that align to workforce needs in Florida. These eleven institutions include state universities, state colleges and private institutions working together to achieve this impressive goal through understanding the needs of this population, building a concierge-based student services infrastructure, a common application, a dashboard to monitor student success, and intrusive advising and career coaching through the life of the project. We are now beginning Phase 2 of Complete Florida with competency-based educational partnership programs being designed in Information Technology, Business and Healthcare to produce reduced costs, increased access and the ability for adults to ‘prove’ what knowledge they have already gained in the workplace. Read more >>

Encouraging Entrepreneurship at Northern Illinois University Northern Illinois University Project Description: NIU seeks to encourage innovation among faculty and students in programs across campus, and is employing a multi-faceted approach to make the knowledge, experiences, skills and attitudes associated with entrepreneurship more accessible to individuals outside of the College of Business. To this end, existing faculty and staff associated with entrepreneurship programs in the Colleges of Business and Engineering/Engineering Technology are reaching out to students, faculty and staff from other academic disciplines within the university. University resources are being invested in new initiatives focused on expanding the opportunities for entrepreneurship training and industry collaboration available to members of all academic disciplines. In addition, NIU is actively supporting pre-college entrepreneurship education programs in Illinois. Read more >>

IT Vision@2015 California State University, Northridge Project Description: California State University, Northridge (CSUN) engaged in a collaborative process to create IT Vision@2015, a campus digital master plan.  Much like the campus physical master plan establishes a blueprint for the future look of the physical campus, the IT Vision@2015 establishes a five-year vision for information technology.  The vision has been framed within the context of the University planning priorities and considers collaboration opportunities internal to CSUN, and within the broader California State University system community and other higher education institutions. Read more >>

The UNO STEM Priority Strategic Planning Initiative University of Nebraska at Omaha Project Description: The UNO STEM Priority Strategic Planning Initiative followed the Chancellor’s designation of STEM as one of five campus priorities. Faculty leaders created a STEM Leadership Team that collaboratively established a STEM strategic plan with the direct input of over 50 faculty members and nearly 60 members of the community, including K12 educators, business, and community colleges. The initiative has had impacts across the campus, including interdisciplinary grants, new pathways for teacher certification, an enhanced use of Inquiry-Based Learning, increased outreach, academic learning communities, and four externally funded leadership positions, called STEM Community Chairs, that each lead STEM initiatives.  Read more >>