Strategic Investment Fund Details

Proposals should introduce strong solutions to create cost-savings that impact our broader campus and/or offer innovative new opportunities to diversify our revenue streams. Proposals may be used to develop external funding as a function of an impactful partnership with a corporate partner/foundation.  

Conditions for Proposals  

Any full-time staff or faculty member may submit a proposal and must maintain full-time status throughout the duration of the project. Instructors, part-time staff or faculty, and students can serve as a team member but cannot take a lead role. Submissions should consider whether the activity falls within the parameters of a current position and/or whether it can be covered under a current operating budget. If a submission’s proposed amount is under $10K, please work with your supervisor and/or identify alternative funding sources to fund the project.

Strategic Investment Fund Profiles

Past and current projects supported through the Strategic Investment Fund

Members of Strategic Investment Fund Committee 

  • (Chair) Senior Advisor to the President (non-voting)
  • Two faculty members nominated by faculty senate for a non-renewable, staggered two-year term
  • Two staff members appointed by the Leadership Team for a non-renewable, staggered two-year term
  • Member of the Leadership Team appointed by Dr. Walz and rotated on an annual basis
  • Member of Finance Team appointed by the Vice President of Finance
  • Department Chair appointed by Dr. Baumgartner and rotated on an annual basis  

Project Considerations

The committee will consider project ideas that:

  • Have a clear potential to create cost-savings and/or generate new revenue.
  • Demonstrate they are an innovative, sound investment (ideas that are not a normal part of operating expenses)
  • Provide a set of realistic goals that can be achieved within a defined time.
  • Advance one or more of the actions in the university’s strategic plan, Extraordinary Together
  • As appropriate to the project, represent a cross-campus collaborative effort.  

Process for Submission

  • Preliminary proposals will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis.
  • Based upon the preliminary proposals, individuals will be invited to submit a full proposal or provided feedback for further consideration.
  • Full proposals will be accepted and reviewed by the Strategic Investment Fund Committee.

Full Proposal and Selection Procedures

Interested staff and faculty members should submit a proposal in electronic .pdf format. The submission shall include:

1) A title page, clearly listing: 

  • Title of the project and the participants
  •  Primary contact
  • Department of participants
  • Signatures of all participants
  • Staffing changes require signature of chair/department supervisor

2) A narrative describing the project, no longer than 3 pages, outlining:

  • Clear definition of project revenue/cost-savings goals and proposed activities
  • The roles and responsibilities of participants
  • The additional department supports that you will need (marketing, finance, admissions, etc.)
  • List of proposed deliverables and detailed timeline for the work

3) A 3-year financial outline of revenue and/or cost-savings, including the investment and expenses associated with the plan. Support is available to develop financial report. 

  • The proposals are to be submitted to Dr. Dan Bergen, senior advisor to the president.
  • All proposals will be reviewed by the Strategic Investment Fund Committee.
  • The committee reserves the opportunity to provide feedback to submitting participants and invite additional information/clarification.
  • Final recommendations by the Strategic Investment Fund Committee will be submitted to the President.
  • The President will make the final decision and announce the award recipients.  

Expectations of Recipients

1) Recipients may be invited to present ideas to the campus at large.

2) Recipients will prepare a status report to the Strategic Investment Fund Committee on an annual basis, or more frequently as requested. Recipients should:

  • Provide a summary of the goals, objectives, and impacts of the effort.
  • Highlight the accomplishments achieved during the award period and any issues encountered.
  • State their plans for future investment and/or cost-savings opportunities that resulted from the effort.
  • Provide a financial report for the project. Support is available to develop financial report.

3) Recipients must show positive cash flow within 3 years and provide a healthy long term financial contribution.

4) Funding for approved initiatives is to cover the cost of the initiative until benefits cover its costs. After that, funding is to come from operating budgets.

5) Any change in use of funding equal to or exceeding $1,000 must be submitted in writing and reviewed by the Strategic Investment Fund Committee for approval prior to spend. Requests can be submitted to Dan Bergen at