New white-paper concept will combine department ideas


    Vision in Action committee members met with faculty and staff at the Student Center on Monday to talk about changes in the application process for funding of new university developments. Leo Munson, associate vice chancellor for academic support, said Vision in Action is going to move to a white-paper concept this year, which has never been done before.

    The white-paper concept is a two-step application process that involves departments turning in two-page applications for funding for different programs, such as a recycling program, the Honors Program and International Studies, Munson said.

    After the initial proposals are turned in Nov. 3, the evaluation committee will bring together all of the departments that have the same ideas. These departments will then be asked to submit a final application, which will be due March 24, Munson said.

    The application will then be recommended to the provost for approval, he said.

    “One of the things we have discovered in the application process is there are a number of applicants who have similar ideas, but there hasn’t been a way to get those ideas into a larger singular application,” Munson said.

    Munson said the ideas of many applicants tend to be the same and combining these same ideas from different departments and schools will benefit the university by bringing together people who have similar goals for university programs.

    Mike Russel, associate dean of Campus Life, said the whole idea of the white-paper application is to have groups send no more than a two-page application to the committee explaining what the general idea is, the goals and the assessment plan, and impact on the university.

    “We have received applications that are 10 to 15 pages, and the challenge for everyone will be to condense it to just two pages,” Russel said. “Many proposals in the past were not clear and thus not funded.”

    Melissa Young, associate professor in communication studies, said the white-paper concept gives an opportunity for colleges and departments to work together.

    “Many departments and colleges don’t know that they want the same thing and have the same idea,” Young said.

    The evaluation committee will look at the ideas and decide which applications need to be collaborated on. Departments will then find out by Dec. 1 if they need to work with other departments that had similar ideas before submitting the final applications, Young said.

    Munson said they have no preconceived notion of how many programs the committee will fund and how much money will be provided to each.

    “We have never run out of funding for the best ideas and programs,” Munson said.