Instructional Needs Funding

Background

The provost provides an ongoing allocation of $1 million in IN funding in recognition of the need to make strategic decisions in the area of undergraduate course offerings and address situations where the campus’ budget model will not always provide the necessary level of support.  As of 2018-19, this funding has been split between the College of Letters and Science and the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education in order to allow the College of Letters and Science, which makes the majority of Instructional Needs requests, to manage their own IN process.  Thus, $700,000 is available to the College of Letters and Science and $300,000 to the VPDUE for the other Colleges.

As in the past, a key consideration for use of these funds is reducing waitlists and ensuring that students are able to enroll in critical courses needed for timely degree completion.  Since the budget model metrics to determine the distribution of undergraduate tuition are based on prior years, the budget model funding to a unit may lag an increase in student demand.   Additionally, in some instances units may need assistance in offering courses that are critical, yet expensive, due to the size or type of course.  While the overall goal should be that each college or division develops a portfolio of courses that are supported by the resources available through the budget model, in some instances this may not be feasible.  IN funds can support these courses on a limited-term basis while more sustainable sources of support are developed.

Instructional Needs Requests for Summer Sessions

IN funding has also been provided to support courses offered in summer sessions.  In recent years, IN support for summer sessions has taken the form of backstop commitments.  Budget and Institutional Analysis (BIA), in conjunction with my office, recently reached out to units for summer course information and backstop requests, so no additional call will be made this year for summer.

2020-21 IN Priorities

In 2013, UE worked with Budget and Institutional Analysis (BIA) to develop a framework of principles and funding priorities that took into account interactions with the budget model, enrollment growth, and crucial curricular needs. In 2018 BIA released an updated report, Repurposing Instructional Needs (IN) Base Budget Funding as 2020 Enrollment Growth Stabilizes.

For this year, IN priorities have been updated to the following, per Instructional Needs Funding Post-2020 Initiative

IN funding priorities are to be based on the college Dean’s ability to fund the college’s portfolio of courses as a whole and the extent to which a course assists students in meeting degree requirements.  Along with the College’s ability to cover the cost or at least a reasonable part of the cost, the following list should guide IN funding decisions:

  1. Freshman-level courses required of large numbers of students.
  2. Freshman level courses that are prerequisites for staying on track in majors chosen by large numbers of students.
  3. Undergraduate courses at any level that are degree requirements in a major in another college or department but that cannot be sustained by their own college or department.
  4. Lower division courses offered in a department required by large numbers of students majoring in another department but which are generally not prerequisites for courses in the major.
  5. Upper division courses expected to be impacted due to a large influx of transfer students.

In all cases, the need requested should be one-time, not ongoing or structural, and not due to internal allocation methodology decisions in the College or department.

2020-21 IN Request Process

The formal request process for IN needs requests allows for a timely and consistent review of requests for instructional needs support, supports future analysis of the use of these funds, and ensures that all appropriate parties have reviewed and approved the request.  Please submit requests as early as possible in the planning process.  Beginning in 2019-20, the Instructional Needs funding process has been split into one for the College of Letters and Sciences and one for the other Colleges.  This process applies only to the other Colleges.

Any requests for IN funding should be submitted by a dean’s office to Matthew Traxler (mjtraxler@ucdavis.edu) in the Vice Provost-Undergraduate Education office using the templates below, according to the timeline below. 

IN Request Forms for Academic Year 2020-2021 Requests 

Timeline 

To the extent that units anticipate need for IN funding in any courses, advance notice and templates are very helpful to allow the campus to budget appropriately.  Funds may not be available later in the year. 

Requests

IN request templates for FWS courses may be submitted to Matthew Traxler (mjtraxler@ucdavis.edu) until the 15th day of Spring quarter.  While templates can be submitted over the course of the year for unexpected needs, the ability to add sections in any given term may be impacted by Registrar timelines.  The office of the Registrar can typically work with departments to make adjustments through the second week of classes.  For 2020-21, the 10th day of instruction can be found here: http://registrar.ucdavis.edu/calendar/quarter.cfm.

  • Fall: October 13, 2020
  • Winter: January 15, 2021
  • Spring: April 9, 2021

Beyond this point, it may be difficult to accommodate additional requests.

Responses from VPDUE and BIA will generally be provided within two weeks.

Reports

Consolidated reports for all courses for which a college has received Instructional Needs funding are due to Matthew Traxler (mjtraxler@ucdavis.edu) by the fifth week of spring quarter. No funding will be provided before reports are submitted.