Faculty Innovation Fund

Do you see a need in your classroom? Do you have an idea that may improve student learning? If you can say yes to either of those questions, we would really like to help you make that happen!

The Faculty Innovation Fund is a legacy of the current Title III Grant: Pathway to 2020 grant that provides funding for faculty-initiated projects around student success and excellence in teaching. The Faculty Innovation Fund provides opportunities for faculty (or teams of faculty members) who want to pursue special projects that may improve student learning in their course and/or program. Projects and ideas should be in line with furthering these goals:

  1. Increasing student success
  2. Increasing student retention
  3. Increasing faculty development for excellence in teaching and learning


Bring Your Idea to the Forefront

Put your idea into words. This can be an individual project or a team project. Get together and put your ideas together. Think about and summarize:

  • A brief description of the idea or projects.
  • What makes the idea/project innovative?
  • Who is involved in this project/idea?
  • How you anticipate this idea/project improving student success and excellence in teaching and learning.
  • How this idea/project connects to Western’s Strategic Plan.
  • The funds you are asking for and how specifically will they be used.
  • The time of year you will be working on and implementing this project.

Discuss Your Idea with Your Dean and/or Associate Dean.

You will need to have their approval prior to filling out the application.

Complete an online application.

Funds Awarded

  • Decisions regarding which project(s) are funded and the degree of funding will be made by the Faculty Innovation Fund Team. Faculty members will be contacted directly about their awarded funds, along with a timeline.
  • Funds will be dispersed through the Manager of Organizational Development in Human Resources.
  • The Faculty Innovation Fund will be awarded approximately two times per academic year. The number of projects awarded will be determined by the amount of funds available per year and the potential allowance per project.

Project Showcase

Faculty receiving funding will be required to share information about their project during professional development days or other suitable college-sponsored professional development event as approved by the Faculty Innovation Team.


How will you know if the implementation of your project has been successful? What data will you be using to gauge improvement or impact in student success?

Year-End Summary

One year after implementation, you may be asked to share “Where you are now” with this project.

Allowable Activities May Include

  • Release time when on contract to develop/implement a project or idea
  • Off term hourly payment to develop/implement a project or idea
  • Conference attendance and travel related to development/implementation of a project or idea
  • Purchase of equipment or technologies to help deliver content and improve student learning

The Faculty Innovation Team

This team is made up of the following college representatives:

  • Mark Hanson – Faculty Developer
  • Jackie Kettner-Sieber – Associate Director, Talent, Retention, and Employee Relations
  • Jacque Schreiner – Development Officer, Western Foundation Office
  • Brandee Ortery – Instructor, Business
  • Larry Sleznikow – Instructional Technologist