Montana State University
MSU STRATEGIC INVESTMENT PROPOSAL FOR INSTITUTIONAL PRIORITIES
PROPOSAL OVERVIEW
TitleCreativity and Design across the University Request Date2012-11-30
DepartmentCollege of Arts and Architecture Emailnancy.cornwell@montana.edu
RequestorNancy Cornwell Phone406.994.4405
INSTITUTIONAL BENEFIT
Campuses Bozeman Billings Havre Great Falls FSTS Extension MAES
Cross Depts Colleges of Arts and Architecture, Engineering, Business, Dept. of Psychology, and potential partnerships with Gallatin College and the MSU Library
TIMEFRAME
Proposed Dates Start: July 1 2013 End:  
PROPOSAL SUMMARY
Creative thinking and design thinking principles are increasingly desired as problem solving strategies in professional fields. Business, engineering and fields involved in technological innovation have embraced these iterative, abductive, intuitive (not based solely on logical inference), experimental approaches whose origins lie in the creative disciplines. This proposal is designed to help establish university-wide opportunities to explore creative thinking and design through the development of a cross-college degree program, a university seminar and the establishment of a university-level Design Sandbox for Engaged Learning (DSEL).
STRATEGIC ALIGNMENT
Because this proposal combines three initiatives around creativity and design thinking, it crosses several goals of the MSU Strategic Plan. Its most significant impact may be on the University goal of Integration. The DSEL, designed to be a university level "lab" and not housed in a particular College, is intended to help facilitate cross-disciplinary, integrated, hands-on discovery-based experiences regardless of one’s disciplinary focus (I.1.1). It will, by design, have an outreach component providing services to the larger community and connecting students with those opportunities (I.1.4). The proposed degree program in Interaction Design directly address the metrics I.2.1 and I.2.2 as it will be conceived of and managed as a distinctly interdisciplinary degree program across several Colleges.

This proposal touches on other aspects of the Strategic Plan. Like most new degree programs, ours will assist in increasing enrollment, in particular because this program will be unique to Montana (A.1.1). It will be designed to be as transfer friendly as possible from its conception including careful collaboration with Gallatin College for easy of transfer out of programs such as Interior Design (A.1.2).

Possibly most intriguing impact of this proposal is that its organically interdisciplinary structure will further integrate the arts disciplines into grant-funded graduate research and provide a state-of-the-art facility to support the design thinking process for students and faculty (D.2.1 and D.3.3) The seamless masters degree will help facilitate the growth of graduate students and support the goal of increasing MSU graduate rates and pursuit of graduate degrees (L.2.1, L.2.2 and L.3.2).
COST AND REQUIREMENTS
Funding Type: One-Time Only Funding Base (3-yr Recurring) Funding
  FY13 FY14 FY15 Base ($) OTO Startup ($)   FTE;
Salaries       86500  24000   
Benefits       22400       
Materials & Supplies         60000     
Travel       5000  30000     
Contracted Services       20000  30000     
Capital              
Other Operations       40000  10000     
TOTAL 173900  154000   
Please comment, if necessary, regarding cost and requirements.

OTO

 

  • University seminar: $3,000 for a faculty member (Salaries OTO)
  • Degree Program: $15,000 to cover three faculty stipends to develop coursework, program and student learning outcomes and assessment cycle during the summer 2013.(Salaries OTO)
  • Degree program Market Analysis: $15,000 (Contracted services OTO)
  • Degree program Marketing Plan: $10,000 (Contracted services OTO)
  • DSEL and Degree Program: $30,000 for site visits and conference attendance (Travel OTO)
  • DSEL: $3,000 stipend for summer 2013 + $3,000 additional compensation for AY 2014 to prepare initial programming for DSEL and develop a trans-college advisory board. (Salary OTO)
  • DSEL Start-up Materials: $60,000 (eg glassboards, whiteboards, technology materials, computers, software, 3D printer) (Materials and supplies OTO)
  • Consultant for DSEL strategic planning: $5,000 (Contracted services OTO)

 

Timeline of expenditures:

YEAR ONE  FUNDING:

DSEL

  • $3,000 stipend for summer 2013 + $3,000 additional compensation for AY 2014 to prepare initial programming for DSEL and develop a trans-college advisory board. (Salary OTO)

Degree program

  • Degree program: $15,000 to cover three faculty stipends (interdisciplinary faculty group) to develop coursework, program and student learning outcomes and assessment cycle during the summer 2013 (Salary OTO)
  • Market analysis $15,000 (Contracted services OTO)

University Seminar

  • University seminar: $3,000 for a faculty member to prepare curriculum, summer 2013 (Salary OTO)
  • $20,000 in speaker honorarium and travel expenses (Contracted services)
  • 16,500 for up to 10 faculty to teach 10 seminar sections each week (Salary)

 

YEAR TWO FUNDING:

DSEL

  • $5,000 Strategic Planning consultant (Contracted services OTO)
  • Director hire (professional) $70,000 + $22,400 benefits = $92,400
  • Operations $20,000
  • Travel $5,000
  • DSEL Start up materials $60,000 (eg glassboards, whiteboards, technology materials, computers, software, 3D printer) (Materials OTO)

Degree program

  • $10,000 Marketing plan (Contracted services OTO)
  • $10,000 in start-up expenses (assuming some courses offered in year two)(Operations OTO)

University Seminar

  • $20,000 in speaker honorarium and travel expenses (Contracted services)
  • 16,500 for up to 10 faculty to teach 10 seminar sections each week (Salary)

YEAR THREE FUNDING:

DSEL

  • Director : $92,400 (incl. benefits)
  • Operations $20,000
  • Travel $5,000

Degree program

  • Operations $20,000

 University seminar

  • $20,000 in speaker honorarium and travel expenses (Contracted services)
  • 16,500  for up to 10 faculty to teach 10 seminar sections each week (Salary)
PROPOSAL SCOPE
Describe the Proposal

Design thinking and creativity are increasingly at the forefront of innovation in products, processes, art, technology and competitive business practices.  In an increasingly entrepreneurial environment and on a campus that embraces the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit, it is time to provide the resources, expertise and curriculum to support a climate of creativity and design thinking across the campus. This proposal brings to Montana State University a unique curriculum, freshman seminar and “lab” not available and not possible elsewhere in the state given MSU’s unique strengths in both art and in engineerting, science and technology.  Interest from Colleges of Business, Engineering, Arts and Architecture, Letters and Science (Psychology), Gallatin College and the MSU Library reflects the internal potential of this multifaceted initiative.  Conversations over the past six months with alumni and friends of the MSU in Montana, Washington and California provide anecdotal support for our belief in the market potential of our proposed degree program as well as the value of broad exposure to the principles of design thinking through the DSEL and a freshman seminar that demonstrates the problem-solving potential of creative thinking principles.  The confluence of those factors place us at a point where we believe the opportunity is ripe to formally explore the potential of making available curricula and co-curricular resources in creativity and design thinking principles more broad available to the campus.

The proposal involves three integrated pieces.  First we would develop for Fall 2013 a new University Seminar on Creativity.  This seminar will explore the role of creativity across disciplines and each year will have a particular focus.  For Fall 2013, the focus will be on Creativity and Engaged Leadership.  The proposed structure will involve a once a week large lecture (the bigger, the better) and a once a week seminar session.  The large lecture will feature leaders in a broad range of disciplines and professions who will speak to the role creative thinking plays in their success.  Each session would close with a challenge that would be taken up in the seminar meeting where students could work through the challenge using creative thinking processes and problem solving strategies.  Some leaders are likely to be found on our own campus and in the greater Bozeman community.  Other leaders will be brought to campus to speak to students when feasible or otherwise interact with students through technology such as Skype or Adobe Connect. 

The second integrated piece will be to establish the  Design Sandbox for Engaged Learning.  This proposed “lab” will provide MSU students with a space to experiment, brainstorm, and prototype simple solutions to problems involving products, space, processes, organizational structures, etc.  It would be a material rich environment, with resources and flexible spaces that stimulate collaboration, spontaneous brainstorming, sharing and experimentation with simple materials.  It is imagined that the DSEL, when fully operational, will be supported by a director who is an expert in the design thinking process and would provide programming to university, be a support resource for students using the DSEL, seek interdisciplinary engagement opportunities for students and generate resources by providing training to external parties. 

The third integrated piece is the development of an Interaction Design degree with a seamless masters option. This degree program focuses interactions between people and elements within their digital, social, and physical environments.  In essence, interaction design is about facilitating communication through the design of interfaces that connect information, products, services, and space.  This requires interfaces that support user task goals (usability) and psychological needs (satisfaction).  The complexity of issues related to the design of interfaces to support usable and satisfying interactions requires skills from a range of disciplines that uniquely exist at Montana State University.  The degree program would draw on existing and new courses in Psychology, Business, Graphic Design, Art, Architecture and Industrial Engineering.  It would offer MSU students the opportunity to focus on Product Design, Space Design (possible opportunity for advancement for students from the Gallatin College Interior Design Program), Service Design (e.g. medical care delivery) and Information Design (visualization of “Big Data” or designing human computer interfaces on items such as iPhones).   The program also will be organized to provide the opportunity to complete a seamless MS degree in support of developing a research funded Ph.D. program.  By designing this degree program to meet the current and future needs of industries and services dependent on design and data visualization, it is hoped that the program will secure external and research sponsorship to help subsidize operating costs and fund the graduate degree component.

 
Describe the broader impacts and benefits of this proposal

We all are well acquainted with the sea change facing higher education.  There are internal pressures to prepare our students for a swiftly changing economic climate and a world of sometimes seemingly intractable problems.  And yet discovery remains as compelling a motivation as ever as many turn an increasing focus on exploring the intellectual spaces between traditional academic disciplines.  We also face external pressures to account for the “product” of the educational experience; to be able to articulate succinctly the skills and knowledge base of a college graduate.  External pressures come from increasing concerns about relevant jobs and rewarding careers, and what those might look like in the decades to come.  Many of the most interesting and promising jobs waiting for the class of 2017 have not yet been created.  And those who enter the steadfast careers of generations past will face challenges and complexities never before encountered.  This proposal seeks to provide support for both these likelihoods in a fluid regional, national and global environment.  In addition to providing an educational option for students who are interested in working in the expanding fields associated with design, we have built into this proposal additional opportunities for students to build their capacity and skill set around creative problem solving and design thinking in a way that is meaningful to their own academic and professional interests.  With the internal and external pressures on today’s students the risk of failure weighs heavily.  Yet, small failures properly evaluated can be an essential learning tool.  Design thinking and creativity are built on the lessons learned by trying, failing, learning and trying again.  We believe it is an especially valuable message for new college students when the prospect of failure builds a practice of risk aversion.  Yet risk is inherent in the discovery of new knowledge; it is something to be embraced.

Montana State University is uniquely positioned in the state of Montana to offer this kind of integrated approach to learning and provide a degree program in Interaction Design.  There is no other institution in Montana able to bring together distinctive assets in the creative arts, psychology, science, engineering and technology to create a program of study that has the potential to become one of national distinction. 

 
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Implementation Plan

Summer 2013

University Seminar – Creativity and Engaged Leadership

Faculty will prepare the University Seminar course during the spring and summer and work with College of Arts and Architecture Assistant Dean (who will function as a course coordinator) to schedule on and off campus speakers.

BS/MS Interactive Design

Representative faculty from the colleges/schools/departments who support this program (e.g. Architecture, Art, Psychology, Business, Industrial Engineering and potential representation from Gallatin College and MSU Library) will form a Interactive Design Curriculum Degree Committee and work together to develop the curricular plan, program outcomes, student learning outcomes, assessment plan and prepare materials for submission to appropriate curriculum committees at the department, college and university level.  Members of this committee will study and visit several programs to identify best practices and curricula (continue into early fall, if necessary).  Current schools targeted for visits include (Syracuse University, Carnegie Mellon, Georgia Tech, and California College of the Arts.  Current conferences planned include the Dublin Institute of Technology conference on Design Education, Sept 2013 and one other conference to be identified at a later time.

DSEL

Investigate best practices, including site visits to several schools and businesses similar known for high caliber, similar facilities (e.g. d-School at Stanford, IDEO).  Identify pilot materials and programmatic needs.

 

AY 2014

University Seminar – Creativity and Engaged Leadership

Offered fall sememster.  Assess outcomes and adjust course.

BS/MS Interactive Design

Interaction Design Degree Committee will oversee a market analysis of the degree demand and graduate employability in Montana and the Northern Rockies. Committee will vet the BS/MS proposal with relevant faculty and university stakeholders and begin moving the Interactive Design program through the MSU curricular review process and towards Board of Regents approval. 

DSEL

Develop and implement initial set of programming. Assess interest, value and potential impact of the DSEL concept.  Explore potential permanent locations for the DSEL.  Establish trans-college faculty advisory group.

 

AY 2015

University Seminar – Creativity and Engaged Leadership

Continue to refine course model and assess outcomes.  Adjust course content and structure accordingly.  Determine feasibility and likelihood of permanent base funding model.  If outcomes of course indicate, prepare to sunset after Fall 2014.

BS/MS Interactive Design

Upon Board of Regents approval, admit students, seek approval for an faculty hire as needed for new courses not covered by current faculty expertise. Backfill necessary coursework with adjunct support for AY2015.

DSEL

Identify a Program Director who will lead the further and deeper development of programming, explore external revenue generating opportunities in the private sector through training and consulting, work with transcollege faculty advisory group to explore additional curricular offerings, develop engagement opportunities for students and create a stategic plan that includes plans for a permanent location if needed.

 

AY 2016

University Seminar – Creativity and Engaged Leadership

If appropriate, apply for base funding to continue course after year three.

BS/MS Interactive Design

Implement permanent instructional support as necessary for enrollment growth and seek permanent base funding.  Continue assessment cycle.

DSEL

Begin implementation of strategic plan, expand external resource development, determine need for base funding, refine student support programming, build relationships externally for engagement opportunities.

 

 
Assessment Plan

Design Sandbox for Engaged Learning Indicators of Success:

Year 1:

  • Establishment of a transcollege advisory group
  • Offered initial programming. Feedback on programming offered the first year indicates continued interest in the DSEL
  • At minimum, temporary space identified for the DSEL

Year 2:

  • Identification of a program director
  • Development of a strategic plan for the DSEL that addresses space, funding sources programming and possible university level curriculum
  • Student use of the space increases

Year 3

  • Identification of and plan for a permanent space, if needed
  • Evidence of external resource support through grants or training income
  • Initial engagement opportunities in place for students
  • Student use of space increases over Year 2

 

University Seminar Indicators of Success:

Year 1:

  • Complete first assessment of learning outcomes and make adjustments for AY 2014
  • Enrollment demand continues

Year 2:

  • Complete second assessment of learning outcomes and make adjustments for AY2015
  • Enrollment demand continues

Year 3:

  • Complete three assessment of learning outcomes and determine if course is achieving its outcomes satisfactorily. 
  • Enrollment demand continues

 

BS/MS Interaction Design Indicators of Success

Year 1:

  • Establish an Interactive Design Degree Committee
  • Curriculum will be developed with a complete set of student learning outcomes and program outcomes. 
  • Assessment cycle will be established with metrics for success. 
  • Market analysis will be completed. 
  • Curriculum will enter the vetting process through the appropriate committees.

Year 2:

  • Curriculum will receive approval from the Board of Regents.  Marketing plan will be developed.

Year 3:

  • Students will be admitted to the program and the first full assessment cycle will be completed.
 
If assessed objectives are not met in the timeframe outlined what is the plan to sunset this proposal?

This proposal is designed to operate as an integrated initiative making available university wide, a new University Seminar, the DSEL and a new B.S/M.S program in Interaction Design that draws upon the collective expertise of four colleges.  The co-development of each of these pieces speaks to the collective synergy present these programs.  However, depending on the assessment of outcomes over the next three years, each of these components could be continued or discontinued independent of the other parts of the initiative.

 
SIGNATURES
Dean/Director: Nancy Cornwell (nancy.cornwell@montana.edu)
Executive/VP: Martha Potvin (mpotvin@montana.edu)