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About the Challenge & Grant

In December 2020, President Gordon Gee issued a charge to transform West Virginia University in the face of a challenging higher-education landscape. In response, the Office of the Provost embarked on a multi-year initiative focused on enhancing and transforming the academic enterprise at WVU.

The Higher-Ed Challenge

Higher education is at a crossroads. With a declining high school population, limited instructional support and growing skepticism in the public about the value of a college degree, higher education is facing an existential crisis. In such an environment, universities like ours must restate our relevance to current and future students and their families, stake our claim as a leader in innovative and purposeful research, and be ready and willing to adapt to an ever-changing landscape…

Excerpt from “Rethinking Academics at WVU”

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The University’s Academic Transformation effort highlights the need to prepare students for jobs and careers in the changing global economy, with a focus on growing and creating degree programs that are rigorous, relevant and innovative in both content and instructional delivery.

A Challenge Within a Challenge

As part of the larger Academic Transformation effort, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Maryanne Reed issued a challenge to faculty across all WVU campuses in September 2022.

The Curriculum Innovation Challenge is designed to inspire and provide support for faculty to create innovative academic offerings that will attract new students to the University and help to differentiate WVU in the higher-ed marketplace.

The Challenge asks faculty teams to submit their most creative ideas for new programs – at any level, in any modality – that are forward-thinking and transformative for their discipline, their students, or the institution.

Submitted ideas will be reviewed by a team of administrators and selected programs will be provided support to develop a full curriculum proposal as well as up to $10,000 in financial support.

Usage of the Grant

Teams with selected program proposals will be awarded grant funding up to $10,000. Possible uses of funding include but are not limited to:

  • Faculty summer stipends
  • Departmental curriculum design retreats
  • Graduate assistant support
  • Administrative staff support 
  • External consultants