Illinois has selected 17 proposed projects to receive a total of more than $11 million with an aim to generate new sources of revenue. The new initiative, Investment for Growth, is an effort to develop sustainable budget models that create alternative and additional sources of revenue and allow the university to deliver on its academic missions.
“When it comes to our budget, we want to be looking ahead instead of looking behind,” said Paul Ellinger, Associate Chancellor and Vice Provost for Budget and Resource Planning. “This is a way to look forward and invest in our students, faculty and staff.”
Colleges and institutes were invited to submit Investment for Growth proposals in March 2017 that included details on funding models, demand and potential impact. The proposals were evaluated by the Campus Budget Oversight Committee, deans and other senior leadership in the fall, and recipients were notified in December. Out of 39 proposals, nearly half were chosen for funding.
The colleges and institutes contributed $11 million to fund the Investment for Growth initiative. The Office of the Provost intends to continue the Investment for Growth as a seed program for the next several years.
One of the selected programs will train humanities professors to utilize digital tools, computational methods and technology to conduct research. Another funded proposal will allow the computer science program to admit more students. Included in the funded projects is also a plan to start a new degree in Quantitative Risk Management and Predictive Analytics. View the full list of funded projects here.
“We chose projects based on a number of criteria,” Ellinger said. “We were looking for projects that are financially feasible, but we were also looking at improving the student experience, alignment with industry demand, likelihood of stability, increasing efficiency and, first and foremost, centered on continued excellence across our scholarly missions of teaching, research and public engagement.”
According to Ellinger, the proposal format was chosen to ensure collaboration and transparency. All campus colleges, schools and research institutes were available to submit proposals, and this year’s proposals represent the College of Media, the College of Education, the Gies College of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and others.
Provost Andreas Cangellaris said he believes new efforts to generate revenue are essential for the continued advancement of the university. He said Investment for Growth is an effort to move toward a business model that more closely aligns our financial capabilities and our university missions.
“As we look to the next 150 years of Illinois excellence, we know we’re going to continue to focus on our funding model,” said Provost Andreas Cangellaris. “We need to be proactive and innovative in our approach to budget challenges, and we need to continue to invest in our future.”
The next call for proposals is planned for spring 2019. To see a full explanation of the program and funded projects, visit the Office of the Provost website.