One of the core values of the School of Journalism and Communication is driving innovation; this structure provides the vehicle intentionally investing in innovation that is fiscally sustainable and carves out the structure for critical strategic investment.

Strategic Investment ($5,000 ≥)

The projects are larger investments with broader implementation and impact; such as, school-wide projects with on-going support that includes initial investment and long-term investment. These include projects that are large investments of $5,000 or more that consider operational and administrative impact to resources (staff and time). These projects are funded by the SOJC IT budget or Dean’s office that includes the initial purchase and a NEW budget line is either added or a budget increase is provided to an existing line. Finally, these projects are embedded as a supported service or function to the SOJC for long-term support that considers operational and administrative impact to resources (staff and time).

Examples include:

  1. Lynda.com subscription
  2. Research lab/space
  3. Large (quantity) equipment purchases
  4. Software that requires yearly renewals for updates/support

Strategic Investment Request Process

Agile Innovation ($500 > $5,000)

The projects are smaller investments that are of limited duration that are provided a sandbox for evaluation and exploration. These projects advance instruction at for the School. Fostering agile innovation provides the SOJC a perfect medium for discovery and learning regardless of original perceived value. Innovations are new endeavors that inherently poses a lot of perceived value but also are inherently riskier as they are new and unknown exploration. Best practices with innovation are usually smaller and contained to a small area of exploration and trial and error to minimize risk. These projects are limited to $5,000 investments – projects exploring and testing new technology intrinsically have lower percentages of success based on some of the following factors:

  • Limitations of an academic infrastructure. (i.e. security; integration; etc.)
  • Consumer devices are usually first to market for innovation as it appeals to the mass markets vs. Enterprise products which are more mature and designed for formal organizations such as an academic infrastructure.
  • A heterogeneous environment of university owned devices and personally owned devices. (i.e. students)
  • Exploring the unknown is a learning process for all involved and assumes best-effort upfront support but does not assume long-term support

Examples include:

  1. ‘Slack’ to test as a potential communication tool for the school
  2. Small equipment or software purchases for 199 or 399 experimental classes
  3. Drones

Exploring the unknown is a learning process for all involved and assumes best-effort upfront support but does not assume long-term support.

These projects are funded by the Senior Associate Dean’s Curricular Innovation budget and is funded for the initial purchase only. Finally, these projects follow the Agile Project Process, which includes an expectation of analyzing the results or success of the exploration by providing a report-out to the Technology Committee— sharing lessons learned and assessing other potential opportunities across the school. After a period (no more than a year) of trial and support, the Technology Committee evaluates the project for long-term integration and sustainment (i.e. may become a strategic investment).

Agile Innovation Request Process