We know that despite budgetary constraints that exist at all universities, incredible work is happening in so many areas at WSU, and it is due to the dedication and effort of our magnificent faculty and staff, for which we are deeply appreciative.

As a growing tier-1 research university guided by its land grant roots and principles, we must be efficient and impactful with our resources, and we must find innovative solutions to serve our students, our state, our nation, and our world.

To build on Washington State University’s effectiveness, we must re-invest strategically in areas where we believe we can have maximal impact on advancing our strategic mission, and sustaining a robust future for the institution. The five percent reallocation process is one significant step in this direction. This process will commence early in the new year, and we will keep you involved and informed as we proceed forward to making decisions about investments.

Half of the $12 million that will be raised by trimming unit budgets by five percent, has already been allocated to pay for our earlier investment in our most important resource, faculty and staff, through the salary increases that took effect on January 1, 2015. The remaining $6 million will fund impactful strategic investments in research (~$4 million) and student success (~$2 million), consistent with the priorities stated in the University’s Strategic Plan.

These investments, which will range from $250,000 to $1 million per project, will be dedicated to transformational, interdisciplinary, and multi-college proposals. Successful research proposals will advance the University’s Grand Challenges themes. Student success proposals that are funded will facilitate institutional-level initiatives that will increase students’ retention, enhance the educational experience, and support progress toward graduation.

Each of our degree-granting colleges is eligible to lead a fixed number of proposals, based on the size of the research and academic enterprise. The Office of Undergraduate Education and Office of Student Affairs may also be the lead on one proposal. Collaboration with other colleges and/or University units is required for each proposal, and funding will be allocated toward proposals that offer a significant evidence base that supports success. Project leads are encouraged to involve the Honors College, Graduate School, libraries, and administrative support units as appropriate and relevant, and collaboration across campuses is also encouraged.

Our college deans will take the lead on organizing, prioritizing, endorsing, and submitting proposals, and will be engaging faculty and staff within and across colleges in the conceptualization and creation of proposals. Colleges can participate in proposals led by other colleges and offices without it counting toward their own limit on the number of proposals they can lead.

Independent, external panels with appropriate expertise will judge the proposals, and the external review will be coordinated and overseen by an Executive Committee appointed by the Co-Provosts and President. Final awards will be decided by an administrative team consisting of the President, Co-Provosts, and the Vice President for Research.

Further details will be available within proposal guideline documents, which will be released by January 15, 2016. Other dates of note are the proposal due date (April 1) and the date the funding awards will be announced (June 15).

We are developing additional communications and resources regarding the Request for Proposals (RFP) and reallocation, along with several sessions to bring college leadership together to share ideas for collaboration and cooperation on proposals. Sessions designed for chairs, directors, and associate deans also will be announced soon.

Questions, suggestions, and feedback from you are welcome throughout this process. We believe tremendous opportunities exist for our University to grow, be impactful and highly successful, and work in concert like never before. We look forward to embracing these opportunities with you.

If you have questions, comments, or feedback on this post, or other matters concerning the Office of the Provost, please email them to provost.social@wsu.edu.