To inspire innovation and communication, President Andrew K. Benton and his team launched an initiative on April 3 to allow “students, faculty and staff to contribute creative ideas and suggestions to further enhance the reputation and operation of the University.”
Chair of the committee that oversees Waves of Innovation Lee Kats wrote in an email that they expect more than 50 submissions by the time of the deadline, Sunday, Sept. 15.
With the cutoff fast approaching, Kats wrote that the program has a three-pronged approach: “to enhance teaching and learning, research and scholarship, the University reputation and revenue.”
“Proposals selected for funding in this first round may be awarded up to $5,000,” Kats wrote. “This initial award is a planning grant so that proposal authors can assemble a more detailed proposal of their idea for Phase II where significantly larger awards will be made to initiate or implement ideas.”
Benton wrote in an email that Waves of Innovation is a continuation of Pepperdine’s long history of responsive change.
“Pepperdine is at its best when it takes calculated risks,” Benton wrote. “I think of our move to Malibu, our investment in international programs and Washington, D.C. and our School of Public Policy as calculated risks.
“It is time, I think, to examine new carefully calculated risks for our future,” he wrote. “I am also excited that we are inviting students, staff and faculty to suggest new challenges for us through Waves of Innovation. I find the whole process invigorating and encouraging.”
Kats said he agreed that creativity and innovation are an integral part of Pepperdine culture and cited the fact that it is rare for universities to allow such initiatives, especially from students.
“Pepperdine students have a history of being creative and for having the enthusiasm and energy necessary for problem solving,” Kats said. “Several students have already submitted proposals as individuals, groups or by partnering with a faculty member or a staff member. Students have a passion for Pepperdine and for making Pepperdine an even better university. This is their opportunity to contribute to that cause.”
Kats said students submitted more proposals than faculty or staff.
“But there is still time for the other groups to catch up,” Kats wrote. “Proposals are accepted until Sept. 15.”
Follow Nate Barton on Twitter: @TheNateBarton
As published in the Sept. 12 issue of the Pepperdine Graphic.