Instructional Needs Funding

Background

The Provost provides an ongoing allocation of $1 million in Instructional Needs (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.  Beginning in 2018-19, this funding is being 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 VPUE 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, it is recognized that 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.

2018-19 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.  This resulted in a paper which can be found here: http://www.budget.ucdavis.edu/budget-model/documents/inst_needs_funding_in_budget_model%20_final_120913.pdf

The priorities outlined in this paper have guided our IN funding decisions over the past several years and we believe have proven to be appropriate priorities for the use of these funds.  As such, these priorities will continue to guide IN funding decisions for 2018-19:

  1. Freshman-level courses that are prerequisites for staying on track in majors chosen by large numbers of students;
  2. An undergraduate course at any level that is a degree requirement in a major in another college or department but that cannot be sustained with adequate resources from its own unit;
  3. Freshman-level courses required of large numbers of students;
  4. Upper division writing courses required of large numbers of students that are important to time-to-degree; and/or
  5. Lower division courses offered in one department that are required by large numbers of students majoring in another department but which are generally not prerequisites for courses in the major.

Additionally, the recent influx of new transfer students has in some cases led to an impaction of some upper division courses, and will be a key priority for IN funding for 2018-19.

2018-19 IN Request Process

Over the past several years, it has become clear that a more formal request process for IN needs requests will allow for a more timely and consistent review of requests for instructional needs support.  It will also support future analysis of the use of these funds and ensure that all appropriate parties have reviewed and approved the request.  I would also like to encourage the submittal of requests as early as possible in the planning process. 

Instructional Needs Funding Request: The fully completed and fully signed template should be submitted with each request.

Report on Use of Instructional Needs Funding:  A consolidated report for all courses requested by the College should be submitted by the fifth week spring quarter.  No funding will be provided until the report is received.

Timeline for Request Submissions: To encourage early submittal of requests when a need is known, and improve our ability to respond in a timely manner, we have developed the attached request timeline that we would like units to follow in submitting IN requests throughout the academic year.  However, to the extent that units anticipate need, our office would appreciate early information to allow the campus to budget appropriately.  As well, as new issues come up throughout the academic year, requests can continue to be submitted as needed using the same forms.

These forms will also be available on https://ue.ucdavis.edu/instructional-needs-funding.

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 attached, according to the timeline attached. 

More detailed information about the history and criteria of IN funding is available at http://www.budget.ucdavis.edu/budget-model/documents/inst_needs_funding_in_budget_model%20_final_120913.pdf, as well as in the template itself.

IN Request Forms for Academic Year (AY) 2018-19 Requests 

Timeline for Submitting AY Requests

Please follow the recommended timeline for submitting IN requests throughout the academic year. Because new issues come up throughout the academic year, requests may continue to be submitted as needed, but should use the same forms.

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. 

Beginning in 2018-19, 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. 

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 2018-19, the 10th day of instruction can be found here: http://registrar.ucdavis.edu/calendar/quarter.cfm.

  • Fall: October 9, 2018
  • Winter: January 18, 2019
  • Spring: April 12, 2019

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

Responses from VP-UE 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.