MSUAASF Special Initiative Awards

Background

The 2011-2013 agreement between the Minnesota State University Association of Administrative and Service Faculty (from this point forward, this group shall be referred to as ASF) and the Minnesota Colleges and Universities system, in Article 12, Section I, subd. 5 provides for university presidents to grant Special Initiative Awards for initiatives that promote student learning, foster excellence and otherwise are of benefit to the university, its mission, and/or the MnSCU system.

Purpose

Special Initiative Award proposals are expected to support excellence through new personal performance objectives. Proposals are welcome from all program areas. Proposals are encouraged from individuals or from teams; they may also involve individuals from other institutions. Projects should propose significant development in the participants’ professional and content expertise, or in assessments, services, curricula, program requirements, or in other student development or service areas to promote excellence at the program, department, university, or system level.

Eligibility

All full and part-time employees covered by the MSUAASF bargaining unit are eligible to apply for Special Initiative Awards.

Funding

Awards will be made in any amount up to $5,000, to be paid as a lump salary amount after the Special Initiative Awards Committee and the president have accepted and approved the report of outcomes. Proposals deemed acceptable by the committee will be forwarded to the President/designee, with a recommended initial minimum dollar amount for the award. If the proposal assumes or is dependent upon additional resources or equipment, the kinds, amounts, and sources of these additional resources or funds must be identified in the application.

Budget

 The budget for fiscal year 2014 is $30,000.

Application/Implementation Timeline, 2013-2014

Proposals are due to HR October 18th, 2013, by 4:30pm. Responses will be provided no later than November 15th, 2013.

Proposals must include a clear timeline, including start date, implementation phases or milestones, and completion date.

Committee

The St. Cloud State University Special Initiative Awards Committee, which consists of Administrators and ASF members, reviews all proposals. The committee members for fiscal year 2014 include Julie Condon (chair), College ESL Coordinator (ASF); Adam Klepetar, Director First Year and Transition Programs (ASF); Miguel Martinez-Saenz, Dean, University College and Associate Provost for Student Success; Wanda Overland, Vice President for Student Life and Development; and Holly Schoenherr, Director of Human Resources.

Policy

The 2011-2013 MSUAASF/MnSCU agreement contains the following provisions:

Article 12, Section I, Subd. 5. . Special Initiative Award. At the discretion of the President/designee, any ASF member may be issued a Special Initiative Award of up to $5,000, subject to the following conditions:

  1. Each university shall have a Special Initiative Award Committee which shall be compromised of two (2) campus association representatives and three (3) administrative representatives. After a local meet and confer, each university may implement additional written guidelines, including but not limited to procedures and deadlines, for the functioning of the committee.
  2. An ASF member, or a group of ASF members, seeking consideration for a Special Initiative Award will submit a written proposal that has been approved by the individual’s or individuals’ supervisor(s) to the University Special Initiative Award Committee. The proposal must specifically delineate goals for a special initiative that is of benefit to the university, its mission, and/or the MnSCU system, including a timeline and an assessment plan.
  3. The committee may accept or reject the proposal, or make suggestions on how to improve the proposal to make it acceptable. Proposals deemed acceptable by the committee will be forwarded to the President/designee, with a recommended initial minimum dollar amount for the award. The President/designee may accept, reject or modify the proposal and/or the committee’s recommendation. Written approval of the President/designee must be received prior to beginning work on the initiative.
  4. In compliance with the assessment plan, the ASF member(s) will provide a written report to the committee upon completion of the initiative. The committee will review the written report, document the work completed on the initiative and goal achievement, and prepare a written final recommendation to the President/designee for the amount of the award based on work completed and results achieved. The President/designee may accept or modify the committee’s recommendations on the amount of the award from recommended initial minimum up to, but not to exceed, the $5,000 maximum. This payment will be in the form of a one-time lump sum payment, and it will not be added to or considered as part as of the ASF member’s base salary.
  5. For Fair Labor Standards Act non-exempt ASF members, the project approval of the President/designee will be in the form of the maximum number of hours that may be devoted to the project. These hours will be paid consistent with Article 11 as they are worked. These hours will be in lieu of a lump sum payment.

Procedure

Step 1. Discussion with supervisor.
Applicants should discuss proposals with their supervisor as early as possible. Both parties should discuss how the project will fit into their daily schedules; as normal job expectations must be sustained throughout the project.

Step 2. Supervisory review and approval.
The supervisor must review the proposal and approve it by signing the Process Form and Cover Sheet. If the proposal is dependent on resources in addition to the Special Initiative Award salary compensation, the supervisor’s commitment to providing any proposed or assumed University resources should be explicitly indicated on the Cover Sheet.

Step 3. The Special Initiative Awards Committee reviews and approves the proposal.
The Special Initiative Awards Committee must view and approve the proposal after the supervisor’s written approval is obtained. The committee may accept, reject, or make suggestions on how to improve the proposal to make it acceptable. Rejected proposals and proposals with improvement suggestions shall be returned to the applicant(s). The committee will determine minimum and maximum amounts to be paid for any approved project. In the event the committee is deadlocked, the proposal shall be forwarded, with supporting documentation, to the president or designee for a decision.

Step 4. Vice President and President/designee reviews and approves or declines the proposal.

Step 5. After receipt of notice of approval, applicant begins the project.
The applicant will receive a letter of notification from the President/designee that the project (as proposed, or as modified, if the committee requested modifications) is approved. The letter will identify the monetary award to be paid upon successful completion. The monetary award is also subject to modifications based upon recommendations of the committee and final approval of the President/ designee.

Step 6. Applicant accepts or declines the award.

Step 7. Upon completion of the project, a final written report is submitted to the Special Initiative Award Committee via Human Resources (AS204) narrating the completion of the project and outlining how the goals and objectives have been achieved.
The monetary award will be paid upon the acceptance of the final report. The information contained in the final report (such as partial versus complete success in achieving outcomes; partial versus complete contributions of all participating members; etc.) will assist the committee in determining recommended payment of the monetary award. Again, final authorization of monetary payments is reserved for the President/designee.

Review criteria for proposals

Special Initiative Awards must meet all of the following criteria:

  1. Work is above and beyond the normal requirements of the individual’s position(s).
  • Provost Malhotra has identified four areas of focus that are consistent with the Provost’s Action Grants made available to IFO members in FY2013. These areas are
  • Student Success Initiatives and Programs
  • Applied and Experiential Learning Opportunities Development
  • Global Programs and Partnerships Development
  • Assessment and Accreditation Development
  • Promotion of Excellence. The overall goal and supporting objectives will focus on the benefits to the university, its mission, or the MnSCU system’s benefit or mission. There is a clear relationship between the performance objectives or project goal, the plan of work and methods, and the intended outcomes.
  1. Evaluation and Assessment Methods. An appropriate selection of assessment strategies and tools are used throughout the proposed performance period/project. The evaluation plan is clearly connected to the proposed goals and outcomes. The proposal clearly identifies a realistic timeline and assessment methods.

Proposals that have the following characteristics are discouraged and will receive lower priority:

  • Budget supplants existing professional development funds.
  • Budget supplants sabbatical or other reassigned time.
  • Budget requires funds (for equipment, supplies, travel, etc.) that have not been identified and obtained or approved.
  • Project is ongoing beyond end of grant period, with no committed support for sustaining the innovation.
  • Project involves minor program changes.
  • Project does not conform to university technology standards.

Proposal Format

All applications must follow the format below.The proposals should be clear and concise.The suggested length for proposals is two double spaced pages.

Proposal Section

Proposal Should Address

Recommended Length

Project Description

What need is being addressed?
What are your goals?
How will this project make a meaningful difference?
How is the project innovative for your own development, your program or the university?
Who will be involved in the project?

Half Page

Rationale/Evidence

How does the project advance one or more of the four focus areas ? What is the need, both locally and in a system or national context?
Will you collaborate with other university or MnSCU institutions?

Half Page

Timeline of Activities

When are activities planned?
When are the start and end dates of your project?

Paragraph

Outcomes

What specific outcomes do you want to achieve?
How will your planned activities achieve these outcomes?
Each outcome must be matched to an assessment in your evaluation plan.

Paragraph

Evaluation Plan

How will you know that you have achieved your outcomes?
What kind of evidence will you gather?
What kinds of assessments will you use?
What is the impact on campus or the surrounding community?

Paragraph

Dissemination

With whom will you share this information?
How will information about this the project be shared with others?

Paragraph

Job Description

A copy of your job description, that is not more than three years old, must be attached to your Special Initiative Award proposal Incentive Proposal.

Attachment

Note: If the project is selected for funding, the committee will accept the project or suggest modifications upon first review. The committee also has authority to deny a project without an appeal possible.

Final Report Format

All final reports must follow the format below.The final report should be clear and concise. The suggested length for final reports is two double spaced pages.

Final Report Section

Final Report Should Address

Recommended Length

Project Description

What need was addressed?
What were your project goals?
How did this project make a meaningful difference?
How was the project innovative for your own development, your program or the university?
Who was involved in the project?
If there were any changes in the original proposal, please include them here.

Paragraph

Rationale/Evidence

How did the project advance one or more of the four focus areas?
What was the need, both locally and in a system or national context?

Did you collaborate with other university or MnSCU institutions?

Paragraph

Timeline of Activities

When were your activities planned?
What were the start and end dates of your project?

Paragraph

Outcomes &
Evaluation Plan

What specific outcomes did you achieve?
How did your planned activities achieve these outcomes?
How did you know that you have achieved your outcomes?
What kind of evidence did you gather?
What kinds of assessments did you use?
What was the impact on campus or the surrounding community?

Half-Page to
Full Page

Recommendations

What recommendations do you have for the university based on the findings of your project?

Paragraph to Half- Page

Dissemination

How has information about this project been shared with others?

Paragraph

Resources

Any resources that you created that would be valuable in reviewing your proposal.

Attachment

 

Untitled Document