On Tuesday, May 19, 2015, from 3 to 5 p.m. in SMSU Ballroom, join your colleagues for an informal celebratory and interactive event to honor the outstanding accomplishments of Provost’s Challenge faculty and staff teams, Office of Academic Innovation and the Provost’s Challenge project managers.
How it all began
The seed was planted three months prior when I became PSU’s provost. President Wiewel had asked me to work collaboratively with our deans, faculty, staff and students on the increasing challenges of changing models of educational delivery, alternative credentialing, demographic shifts in student populations, relevancy of the curriculum and costs to students.
The table was set for the Provost’s Challenge through questions that explored the changing landscape of educational delivery, which I raised with faculty and staff at the September 2012 Convocation. I did not advocate for any one solution. An article in the Vanguard captured it well with a headline that read “Many Questions, Few Answers.”
We launched the Provost’s Challenge in November 2012. We had no idea of the energy and positive impact these projects would have for our university. When we issued the Request for Proposals, we anticipated a dozen or so proposals. We were delighted (and surprised) that there were over 160 submissions that included participation from over one-third of faculty and staff.
What the Provost’s Challenge work means
The Provost’s Challenge serves as a catalyst for exploration, collaboration, testing of ideas and risk taking. Through the Challenge, we have capitalized on the talent, creativity and initiative of our faculty by identifying ideas, scaling them up and making them sustainable with the intention that this work will result in lasting change in how PSU functions and serves its mission.
We had a unique opportunity—approximately $3 million dollars of restricted one-time funds were available from the online fee to help accelerate our transformation. Those funds were well spent to achieve amazing results. The Provost’s Challenge supported 24 faculty and staff projects beginning in 2013 through full implementation in June 2015, to accelerate online learning, expand the use of innovative technology in educational delivery, and to improve student success and graduation rates.
The Challenge is the first project in the university’s reTHINK PSU initiative, which strives to deliver an education that serves more students with better outcomes while containing costs through curricular innovation, community engagement, and effective use of technology.
Attend the Provost’s Challenge celebration to not only learn about the work accomplished, but to also engage in the exchange of ideas and information and learn about the exciting new tools and resources available to students, faculty, and staff.