Innovation Task Force To Implement Six New Initiatives

September 04, 2012

Phase five of the Innovation Task Force now underway.

A post-baccalaureate pre-health professional certificate, groundbreaking new online degree programs, winter enrichment offerings and an international gap year are among six new initiatives selected for implementation by GW’s Innovation Task Force.

The Innovation Task Force was established by President Steven Knapp in October 2009 with the charge of generating $60 million in annual, recurring savings and new revenue for reinvestment in the university’s top academic priorities. Six new innovation ideas are selected for implementation every six months. To date, 46 initiatives and approximately $50 million have been identified toward the $60 million goal.

“We continue to make solid strides forward,” said Dave Lawlor, senior associate vice president for finance and co-chairman of the ITF steering committee. “It is very satisfying to see the fruit of our collective labor. I continue to be greatly encouraged by the level of collaboration among the various GW stakeholders committed to the success of the ITF.”

The six new initiatives, expected to generate more than $15 million per year in recurring annual savings and revenue enhancements, are:

  • New Online Programs: Offer fully online undergraduate programs to military families and national service personnel that can be completed in three years at a reduced tuition rate. Expand master’s level online programs. Offer online courses to high school students for college credit. Create a GW School of Business Digital Community, featuring online programs combining cutting-edge business curricula with innovative web-based technologies.
  • Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Health Professional Certificate: Create an independent post-baccalaureate pre-health professional certificate program on the Virginia Science and Technology Campus for prospective medical, dental, veterinary and nursing students.
  • Relocating Select Off-Campus Sponsored Research Projects onto Campus: Increase net indirect cost recovery by strategically moving off-campus sponsored research projects from rental space to university-owned buildings.
  • International Gap Year: Develop an individualized education program for students from around the world to come to GW to study English and prepare for higher education in the United States.
  • Winter Enrichment Programs: Offer additional and unique educational programs during winter break, ranging from academic assistance courses to distance education offerings and courses aimed at international students remaining on campus.
  • Global Experience Degree: Offer a unique bachelor’s degree program that will provide students with up to two year’s experience studying abroad.

As the new batch of initiatives moves into the detailed planning stage, the ITF’s Exploration Committee is hard at work vetting the next round of ideas, which will be showcased in the fall. The cross-disciplinary committee, led by Wendy Martino,director of business process management in the Division of Operations, and Christine Pintz, director of the Doctor of Nursing Practice program, is making steady progress.

“We are fortunate to be working with Exploration Committee members who have such a breadth of knowledge and experience and are committed to developing great ideas,” said Dr. Pintz. “It is an exciting process.”

“We encourage the university community to continue to submit ideas for phase five to the ITF website through mid-October,” added Ms. Martino. ”We look forward to sharing our truly innovative ideas at the showcases in November.”

Praising the “great progress” of the initiative to date, Mr. Lawlor said, “The ITF is changing the culture of GW—how we think about and how we do business. This is the third year in a row that money has been budgeted by the ITF for investment in faculty, student support and research. We urge everyone to continue to think of new ways to expand the envelope, as well as help us succeed in implementing the various initiatives underway, as we continue the culture of innovation at GW.”