Innovate, Design, Excel & Assess for Success (IDEAS)

The Innovate, Design, Excel & Assess for Success (IDEAS) program described here promotes inclusive innovation and growth, and is aimed at finding local solutions for local problems. This program offers small amounts of seed money to pilot test innovation in individual units that promote the goals of the University’s new strategic plan.

The Stanislaus State Strategic Plan: A Sense of Place, Inclusion, Transformation, and Future, adopted in Fall 2017 has moved into a phase of implementation so its goals can become a reality. One aspect of the implementation calls into focus Goal 3 that states the campus will boldly pursue innovation and creativity.  While innovation and creativity are embedded in all five goals of the plan, Goal 3 paves the way for fresh ideas to float up organically from faculty, staff and administrators.  This includes all individuals, across campus who may see a need for change, hear an inner voice that says they can remedy the situation, and are willing to step up and try to spearhead improvements.  

President Junn believes in the notion that we create our future together. Innovation works best when it bubbles from the bottom up and leadership is shared. Embedded in the Strategic Plan’s Goal 3 is the belief that the collective wisdom and commitment of all campus personnel, irrespective of where they are in their departmental organization, is critical for innovation and creativity on campus. This program hopes to unlock this potential by pursuing commonsense approaches to innovation and relying on every persons’ ability to think creatively. Participation in this program is open to the faculty, staff and administrators on campus.

Topics Covered Under the Innovation Umbrella

The topics listed in this section are meant to begin an exploration of possibilities that can be shaped by the campus community. Innovation could be related to smart services, organization, improvement of internal processes or quality of services. It could include improved technology, facilities, purchasing processes, Human Resources, student services, marketing, security or better relations with partners in the region. A cursory review of topics covered under innovation by other universities includes such things as multi-disciplinary learning, industry partnerships, entrepreneurship, makerspaces, social and cultural innovation, health innovation, sustainability or emerging technologies.  These are examples of topics associated with innovation that could be considered for anyone interested in developing a proposal for this program. 

Format for Proposed Innovation 

Preliminary proposals will be accepted as an expression of interest from individuals or teams in a one or two-page format and must include the following:

1. Name, department, phone and email of the participant(s).

2. What problem or need is being addressed?

3. Identify (a) plan or steps needed for the proposed innovation and indicate a timeline for activities, and (b) identify which Strategic Plan goals and objectives are met by addressing this problem. 

Click here for Link to California State University, Stanislaus Strategic Plan 2017-2025 

4. What impact will this have on campus?

5.Resources needed for implementing the plan.

6. Assessment and evaluation of proposed plan.

7. Contact information and title of any sponsors willing to contribute to the innovation or who support the idea.

Participation in this program is open to the faculty, staff and administrators on campus.

Individuals submitting winning proposal ideas will be invited back for further discussion and may be asked to submit further elaboration on budget, partnerships, assessment and evaluation of implemented innovation. 


Up to $5,000 are available to support individual proposals. 

Click here for IDEAS Proposal Application Form

Submit completed IDEAS Proposal Application Form to:


Deadline for Proposal Submission is Monday, February 12, 2018

The results of this request for proposals will be announced by the end of March, 2018 in a reception hosted to introduce the awardees to the campus community.  The completed work of the awardees will also be presented in an annual meeting that showcases the accomplishments of the IDEAS award recipients.

Selection Process

SPEMI will coordinate the initial review of submissions with representation from Human Resources (HR) and the Office of the President. The University Budget Advisory Committee (UBAC) will review a list of finalists and make recommendations to cabinet. President Junn will select the final projects.  Approximately 5-10 proposals will be selected for implementation in each annual review cycle.

Program Contact Information

Questions and any requests for further information can be directed to the following individuals:

Dr. Gitanjali Kaul, Vice President for Strategic Planning, Enrollment Management, and Innovation. Phone X 3204; email

Ms. Ashlea Eaton, Administrative Analyst for Strategic Planning, Enrollment Management and Innovation. Phone X 3997;