The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is developing new sources of revenue through its Investment for Growth program. This year, ten proposed projects were selected to receive $14.2 million over the next three years. These innovative proposals span a variety of academic concentrations, including liberal arts, health, data science and more. This year marks the fourth round of funding through Investment for Growth, which has invested over $78 million in projects since its inception in 2018. Successful past projects include the creation of the new Campus Instructional Facility as well as rapid growth of multiple online programs.
The recently selected projects are equally ambitious and innovative as their predecessors. Among the chosen proposals is the Illinois Center for Immersive Computing, which will consolidate the university’s many technological communities into one joint effort. Multiple other projects focus on enhancing and expanding online learning: new online undergraduate business offerings, an online bachelor of liberal studies program and hy-flex classrooms that incorporate hands-on virtual reality and augmentation. Additionally, proposals will establish new online master’s degrees in instructional learning system design and technology, data science and information management.
Another selected proposal is the Learning Innovation Lab, a cutting-edge collaborative design space that will combine with an online learning innovation grant program as part of the College of ACES. Through a separate project, the College of Media and the Carl R. Woese Institute of Genomic Biology will collaborate to expand curriculum options. Together, they plan to launch interdisciplinary, transcriptable curricular and degree options to meet the needs of undergraduate, graduate and professional students and learners. Rounding out the ten selected proposals is the Joint Initiative on Veterans Health, which includes the creation of a Research and Engagement Consortium that will focus on veterans’ mental health and human-computer interaction using virtual reality therapy. The project is also committed to offering new degree programs, such as the online professional certificate on veteran's health.
“The Investment for Growth program has proudly propelled the university’s mission forward, fostering an exceptional academic environment that encourages multidisciplinary collaboration and innovative thinking,” said Interim Provost Bill Bernhard. “These projects will continue to help enhance the visibility and impact of the university by offering a strategic and transparent opportunity to invest in the university’s future.”