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Office of the President
University of the Pacific
3601 Pacific Avenue
Stockton, CA 95211

Innovation Initiatives: 2006-2010

Innovation defined at Pacific

There are three conditions that should be met for innovation at Pacific. Innovation is:

  1. the introduction of a new idea or using something in a new way;
  2. the idea is put into practice which creates change that has value; and
  3. the change has a positive effect on student learning, service, or organizational performance.
Pacific is committed to innovation and creativity across the University. Pacific will seek to expand innovation in academic programs through an ongoing innovation process, support to pedagogy and research and new education and service delivery models and to enhance University administrative programs and services through innovation and creativity by targeting fundraising, increasing incentives and improving services and programs. 

Innovation Initiatives

In 2006, the President established a fund of $1.25 million dollars to seed innovation in academic (and directly connected co-curricular) programming. Recommendations for expenditures from this fund are made by the Institutional Priorities Committee to the President for consideration. The fund was originally used to establish planning grants developed by the Collaborative Vision Teams who were working on proposals for Innovation Initiatives. These initiatives were required to be collaborative, multidisciplinary programs. Funding was extended as these proposals moved toward implementation. The call for proposals required that the initiatives:

  • be linked directly to the University’s mission, values, and planning criteria
  • increase distinctiveness
  • build on current strengths
  • involve two or more disciplines and engage a range of stakeholder inside and outside the University
  • generate new revenue

The initiatives activities were focused on curriculum, research, and service in new and collaborative ways. They were focused on academic programs and included directly connected co-curricular activities.

The Collaborative Vision Teams (CVTs) brought together ideas from many disciplines and used what was created at the intersections of the disciplines. The following is a brief timeline of the CVTs:

  • eighteen clusters emerged from the planning retreats of 2005 and 2006
  • sixteen original CVTs with conveners existed in January of 2006
  • twelve original proposals were submitted through 2006
  • additional proposals were considered and added
  • eight initiatives are currently operational
  • others have been integrated to various degrees into existing programs
  • five have ended

The Innovation Initiative fund was depleted in FY10. All initiatives involved more than one academic unit, linked directly to Pacific’s mission, increased distinctiveness, built on University strengths, engaged a range of stakeholders, and sought to be sustainable. Some of the original initiatives are fully operational, some have been integrated into existing activities, and and others have stopped. The following initiatives are operational:

  • Innovation Grant Fund
  • Global Center for Social Entrepreneurship
  • Center for Social-Emotional Competence
  • Accelerated Pre-Law Program
  • First Year Experience
  • Certificate in Civic Leadership
  • Inter-American Initiative
  • Sacramento Pipeline


Stages of Innovation Development



The CVT is formed, key roles identified, objectives established, and team is prepared for the journey.

Stage 2--


The CVT envisions the strategic frontier, the focus, and the scope of the initiative. Senior management sets expectations for proposal development.

Stage 3--


Novel and useful insights from the periphery are collected that form the basis of new, value-producing opportunities. The CVT seeks ideas that are innovative, connect to the Universities values and mission, and capitalize on market place dynamics. Funding for proposal development may or may not be required.

Stage 4--


Using the new insights gained, the CVT will create a future vision to pull and refine a portfolio of new opportunities. First draft of proposal is written.

Stage 5--


The CVT will create a strategic road map outlining key events, trends, external opportunities, and milestones to move Pacific into this new strategic future. Proposal is strengthened.

Stage 6--


Based on the initial proposal drafts, the Provost's Office and Institutional Priorities Committee consider which innovations are likely to pass to the next stages towards implementation.

Stage 7--


The recommendation for funding will be determined based on the plan for assimilating the innovation into the University's current structures and budget. Proposals plans will consider likely new funding and unit reallocation.

Stage 8--


Approval as a planning/pilot project, typically with a planning/pilot grant, recommended by the Institutional Priorities Committee and approved by the President. During this planning stage, each proposal will be reviewed by an appropriate committee of the Board of Regents.

Stage 9--


Approval by the Cabinet and the President of a proposed multi-year budget plan recommended by the Provost that identifies income and expenses for sustainability. This approval process should be completed prior to the end of the planning/pilot stage of development. A fundraising plan will be developed and reviewed for selected Innovation Initiatives recommended by the Provost to the Office of University Advancement prior to Stage Nine approval. For a proposed new academic major or degree program, the standard faculty approval process will be followed, culminating in a decision by the President to present the proposed program to the Board of Regents for final action.

Stage 10--


Once approved by the President, the initiative may proceed with next steps in implementation. Within three years of Stage Nine approval, the initiative will be administratively reviewed for continuance, modification, or discontinuance.