Chancellor’s Innovation Fund
Purpose: The intent of the Chancellor’s Innovation Fund Awards (CIFA) is to provide the resources for members of the college family to conduct demonstration or research projects that ultimately result in practices or institutional self-knowledge that when operationalized, will benefit and improve the institution.
Philosophy: The CIFA reveals two important perspectives that the Houston Community College Board of Trustees and Chancellor hold for the institution. First, it reveals that the Board of Trustees and Chancellor recognize the need for HCC to improve continuously and that institutional improvement is directly linked to a financial commitment by the institution. Second, the very concept and establishment of the CIFA reveals that in accordance with widely-accepted practices of organizational improvement, the Trustees and Chancellor understand that the best way to achieve institutional improvement is through the adoption of the innovative thoughts and practices that spring from the abundance of ability, creativity and energy of the institution’s employees.
Expectations: The CIFA intends to create strategies or solutions to improve upon what HCC is doing or translate existing effective strategies or solutions to different settings within the district. Either way, an ideal project creates new knowledge and practices. It sometimes challenges conventional thinking and may even involve significant but acceptable risks. But most important, the project adds something new to the array of strategies we can draw from to effect systemic change.
Priorities: A project must involve more than one person and more than a single department or office. A project should involve more than one college. Proposals must have the ability to be expanded or scaled up. The project must directly support and advance one or more of the six strategic goals: Student Learning, Effective Leadership, Resource Development and Enhancement, Global Perspective, Effective Communication, and Accountability and Strategic Decision-Making.
Evaluation: All CIFA projects should have robust evaluation designs. Evaluation should focus on assessing learning outcomes as measured by performance and achievement. If the project aims to change organizational structures, create cost-efficiencies, or achieve other ends not specifically represented by learning, the evaluation should focus on cost analysis, for example.