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The President’s Innovation Network


Fall 2010 1

IVE YEARS AGO, WESTMINSTER COLLEGE CREATED PIN, THE PRESIDENT’S INNOVATION NETWORK. President Bassis recognized that new programs and ideas would often fail to get the support they needed if they had to compete for support in the kind of zero-sum game that relatively static departmental budgets create. If, however, he had access to funds that were outside the normal tensions of the budgetary process, he could support the development of creative approaches to enriching the educational experience Westminster offers. That is precisely what PIN has done for five years. This report identifies new projects the president wants to support and documents the success that PIN programs have had in the past.

A LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT This year marks the fifth anniversary of the creation of PIN, the President’s Innovation Network. In those five years, dozens of contributors have made a commitment to PIN; we have raised and dispersed $1,340,000; and most importantly, we have funded 14 different projects—projects that we might never have had the resources to launch, and certainly would not have been able to grow as quickly as they have, without PIN support. I am exceptionally proud of what PIN has brought to Westminster. Several programs have become central components of campus life. I honestly think it would be difficult to imagine now what student life and learning would be like without the Environmental Center or the Center for Civic Engagement. Other programs appeal to narrower segments of the student body, but add depth and richness to their experience here. Certainly the Institute for New Enterprise, the Great Salt Lake Institute, and the Center for China-America Business Studies fall into that category. Still other PIN-supported initiatives already influence our thinking and behavior but have not yet reached their full fruition—both our E-Portfolio Initiative and our efforts to internationalize the campus fall into this category. And finally, there are programs that are potentially transformative, but have not evolved sufficiently to allow us to gauge their impact. I would place our Global MBA program, our ProblemBased Learning Initiative, the Learning Coalition, and other pedagogical initiatives in that area. In short, PIN has accomplished a great deal and still has a great deal to contribute to Westminster in particular, and to higher education in general. For that, I am immensely grateful to those of you who have become members of PIN. Your contributions have made it possible for us

to move forward on a wide ranging set of priorities. Equally important, your faith in what we are trying to do has given us the courage to explore new directions, try new strategies, and continue to offer our students innovative programs that make a Westminster education more relevant and more effective. You have made it possible for us to become more successful in terms of preparing our students to lead lives of learning, accomplishment, and service by developing the skills and attributes critical for success in a rapidly changing world. To those considering becoming a PIN member, I would simply say this: operating as an educational venture capital fund, PIN has a return on its investment that each investor can be proud of. As this document demonstrates, PIN has enabled many successful initiatives; however, I can assure you that there are still many more ideas we wish to test, reforms we want to try, and changes we want to implement. We have an institutional commitment to continuous improvement, and PIN plays an essential role in allowing us to turn that commitment into concrete action.

Michael S. Bassis President, Westminster College

TABLE OF CONTENTS 2010–2011 Investments

Preparing Students for “The New Demographic” ..................................................................... 9

Expanding Our International Reach .............................................................................................11

Promoting Learning Through Technology ...................................................................................13

Building Unique Degree and Non-degree Programs ................................................................15

PIN Accomplishments to Date ....................................................................................... 16

PIN Total Investments .......................................................................................................... 18

Purpose of PIN ............................................................................................................................ 20

PIN Selection Process ............................................................................................................ 21

PIN Members .............................................................................................................................. 22


2010–2011 INVESTMENTS The following programs and initiatives received support from PIN for the 2010–2011 academic year:

Preparing Students for “The New Demographic”

$ 25,000

Expanding Our International Reach

$ 50,000

Promoting Learning Through Technology

$ 75,000

Building Unique Degree and Non-degree Programs






Globalization is a powerful economic and social force which has already impacted all of us. But “globalization” is also a domestic issue. As the demographic characteristics of our country and state change, all of us need to become aware of, and responsive to, our increasing domestic global diversity.

Our Strategic Plan established the goal of having our students develop a “global consciousness.” And we have made progress in that area. The number of new international students who enrolled rose from six in 2005 to 50 this year; the total number of students from underrepresented groups has almost tripled over this same five-year span. The college has increased its campus support services for underrepresented and international students; co-curricular programs have been added and students clubs have been created; strong relationships with universities in China, Thailand, and India have been established; and opportunities for study abroad have been greatly expanded.

There is, however, still much we need to do. For example, while students cannot graduate without taking courses that expose them to American history and culture, it is possible for them to graduate without taking courses that expose them to non-European perspectives. And we need to make

As the demographic characteristics of our country and state change, all of us need to become aware of, and responsive to, our increasing domestic global diversity.

sure that, where appropriate, we broaden our current array of courses to ensure that non-European views are part of their content.

While few would disagree with our goals, achieving them is not easy. We all have ethnocentric biases, and it takes hard work to broaden our perspectives and increase our cultural sensitivity. We need to fund professional development opportunities for faculty and staff to help them incorporate new content in their courses and new behaviors in their jobs. And we need to create new opportunities for students to interact with people with backgrounds, perspectives, and beliefs different from their own. This “New Demographic” initiative is designed to help us do that—and more. 9




Over the past several years, Westminster has established formal and productive relationships with two universities in China, a meaningful affiliation with a school of nursing in Thailand, and has initiated an ongoing student-led service project in the village of Wai, India. We know from experience that international ventures like these hold tremendous promise for our students and our college. Students, of course, benefit from spending time abroad, developing a better understanding of other cultures, and becoming more comfortable in different social settings. In an increasingly global economy, there simply is no better experience than spending time in another country. By the same token, as foreign students come to Westminster to study, our campus-based programs are enriched by the opportunity to learn about the way they perceive our society and view the world. Additionally, depending on the way the relationships are structured, international programs can create a revenue stream that can be used to support both our campus-based initiatives and further expand our presence abroad. We know from past experience that one cannot create a mutually beneficial partnership overnight. In our dealings with our Chinese partners, for example, we found it took time to establish the kind of trust and develop the sort of understandings that are critical to an enterprise of this sort.

Students benefit from spending time abroad, developing a better understanding of other cultures, and becoming more comfortable in different social settings.

We are engaged in precisely that sort of preliminary process now with two universities in Argentina (Universidad Argentina de la Empresa and Universidad Católica Argentina in Buenos Aires) and one in Peru (Universidad de Piura in Lima). Just a few months ago, after a good deal of advance work by faculty in our Division of New Learning, Provost Cid Seidelman and President Bassis flew to South America to visit with leaders of those institutions. We signed a Memorandum of Understanding with each of them. Despite the hospitality that was extended and the good will that was developed, we know that more work must be done and more travel undertaken before those MOUs are translated into important programmatic initiatives. We must, for example, find ways to fully integrate our new Spanish-Latin American Studies major into our relationships with these three universities. And in order to maximize the value of the relationship for both Westminster and the other institutions, we want to develop joint academic programs, as well as student and faculty exchanges. So there is a good deal of work that still must be done before these MOUs are operational. But we also know, based on our experience in China, that such agreements can produce new and powerful learning opportunities for our students. 11




Every organization needs to continually adjust its thinking to take advantage of the power of the new technologies as they become available. And with support from PIN, we are poised to make a critical adjustment. Over time, our campus has built a technological infrastructure that uses desktop computers: machines with a screen, a keyboard, and a tower that contains the operating system. Currently, we have nine computer labs on campus filled with desktop computers. Therefore, when professors want to have students use a particular computer program for all or just a small portion of a single class period, they have to arrange to schedule the lab and then shift the class to that space. Those logistics make it exceedingly difficult to integrate computers into the learning environment. As one faculty member noted, “there are a number of small-scale demonstrations that I choose not to do because [it is] not worth the trouble of scheduling a lab and moving everyone there.” Maintaining the labs is expensive, moving a class to them is disruptive, and none of it is necessary. More than 90% of our students, according to a survey conducted this year, have laptops—totally portable computers they can bring with them, and that allows faculty to turn any classroom into a computer laboratory just by telling their students to open their laptops and run a particular program that supports the educational objective of the class.

It takes advantage of the way students use technology to increase learning opportunities, creates more desperately needed classroom space, and saves money.

There would be some short-term costs associated with shifting to laptops. We would need to deploy a Virtual Desktop Interface (VDI) to allow the laptops to access all necessary applications. And we would need to purchase and store some laptops for students who can’t afford one or are experiencing some malfunction that makes theirs temporarily inoperable. But there are also significant short- and long-term savings. We would be able to close many of our labs immediately and most of the others in a few years. We estimate savings of at least $30,000 every year just by avoiding the need to replace or update the desktops that now sit, often unused, in the labs. This is an investment that makes perfect sense: it takes advantage of the way students use technology to increase learning opportunities, creates more desperately needed classroom space, and saves money. It is precisely the sort of program PIN was designed to support. 13


Building Unique Degree and Non-degree Programs


For years, critics of American higher education have complained that it costs too much and produces too little. And all too often, their criticism has been fully justified. Westminster’s shift from a teaching to a learning paradigm is an effort to respond to those complaints. The learning paradigm serves as the platform that we believe will enable us to deliver programs of the highest quality, but at a lower cost. Toward this end, we are currently testing a hybrid course learning design that blends face-to-face and online instruction. We have had great success with our hybrid model in two of our business programs, a bachelor of business administration degree-completion program and the project-based MBA. Now we want to test that approach in our School of Nursing and Health Sciences. We are hopeful that we can create effective hybrid programs in this area as a way to maximize learning, lower costs, and increase enrollment without increasing the demands on our already over-utilized infrastructure. Our hybrid model has two distinct features—low residency and competency-based learning. While students have access to their professors and peers through chat rooms, video links, and other communication channels, they do not come to campus and make demands on our physical infrastructure on a daily basis. We do, however, recognize the value of faceto-face interactions, so we schedule “intensive residencies.” These are back-to-back, full-day sessions held on campus, typically before the start of each new project sequence.

Competency-based learning goes beyond a focus on what students know to emphasize what a student can do with what they know.

The online portion of our hybrid design uses competencybased learning. This kind of learning goes beyond a focus on what students know to emphasize what a student can do with what they know. Quite simply, we want to ensure that our students can demonstrate the skills, abilities, and knowledge needed to perform specific tasks. It’s easy to understand why competency-based learning appeals to potential employers. But it also can play a critical role in improving the ability of colleges to assess student achievement. And when a student can graduate by demonstrating competency in their coursework, rather than just by completing the 132 credit hours we now require before awarding a degree, the time a student spends—and the tuition they pay—to get a degree can be reduced. The implications of low-residency, competency-based learning is immense. We can be on the cutting edge of that movement by using PIN funds to see if this learning design is as effective in programs in our School of Nursing and Health Sciences as it has proven to be in our Gore School of Business.


PIN ACCOMPLISHMENTS TO DATE Over its five-year history, PIN has funded 14 important new initiatives at the college. All have been so successful that they are now fully institutionalized. The Environmental Center fosters campus awareness of, and engagement in, local and global environmental issues. More than 3,000 students have been involved in projects supported by the center, which range from lectures, debates, and discussions to Westminster Wheels, a free bike program promoting alternative transportation. The center also provided leadership to the collaborative, cross-disciplinary, campus-wide effort to help the college reduce its carbon footprint. The Center for Civic Engagement

is designed to serve as a matchmaker among students, faculty, and community organizations with the goal of improving student learning through service, service-learning, and other civic engagement activities. Among its many initiatives are SLICE (Student Leaders in Civic Engagement), a program for students who are interested in a particular social issue and want to work with other Westminster students, faculty, and staff, as well as members of the community, to address the problems they see. So far, 140 students have participated in SLICE in addition to the 1,300 students who are engaged in other forms of civic engagement each year.

The Center for China-American Business Studies

is focused on continuing to expand our reciprocal relationships with two Chinese universities and serving as a resource for private sector businesses to explore and expand their opportunities in China. So far, 50 Chinese students have studied on our campus and more than 300 Westminster students have traveled to China. The center also supports our Global MBA program and the “2-years-at-home plus 2-years-abroad” undergraduate experience we are developing.

The Institute for New Enterprise recognizes that launching a new venture requires different skills than those used in existing operations. As a result, it is focused on helping students develop the skills critical to successful entrepreneurial leadership in both the non-profit and for-profit sectors. Its Opportunity Quest program allows students to develop business plans that are evaluated by a panel of venture capitalists, lawyers, accountants, entrepreneurs, and other successful and knowledgeable business leaders. In just its second year, Opportunity Quest attracted more than 30 teams of Westminster students who learned about the challenges and rewards of trying to start a new business.

The Learning Coalition was created by our faculty to help them explore different ways they could maximize the value of the shift from teaching to learning in their own work. In addition to supporting and helping to develop a number of initiatives such as e-portfolios, the coalition serves as a forum for faculty discussion of the latest technologies and techniques that support student learning. More than 70 faculty members have participated in coalition programs, and the coalition is now working with our staff and adjunct faculty to ensure that the learning paradigm is also part of their work at the college. 16

The emphasis placed on Internationalizing the Campus is certainly helping students achieve one of our college-wide learning goals—namely, developing a global consciousness. Our campus has welcomed more than 90 full-time international students and 40 exchange students in the last two years and continues to develop programs to support their needs. As their numbers grow, they have more interaction with our students and enrich our community with their experiences and perspectives. At the same time, as a result of partnerships in other countries and our outreach efforts, more of our students have the opportunity to travel abroad. Indeed, in the last two years, more than 330 Westminster students have traveled and studied outside the United States.

The Great Salt Lake Institute serves as a model of active, engaged, experiential, and cross-disciplinary learning. Students are full participants in the institute’s research and exploring the ecological and commercial implications of their work. The institute also works with nonprofit conservation groups, state and federal governments, and high schools that want to expand their science curriculum, in addition to sponsoring lectures and facilitating discussions. Through these activities, the institute has involved more than 2,000 members of the community, as well as provided students the opportunity to conduct research at the lake.

Our E-portfolio Project has the potential to transform the college and allow us to be the first institution to ensure, in more than rhetorical terms, that our students have the skills they need to succeed after graduation. After years of extensive preparation, we are now ready to launch a full-scale pilot program of the e-portfolio this year. Students will use e-portfolios to collect and display examples of their work in an effort to document their progress toward our college-wide learning goals. The e-portfolios will be evaluated periodically by our faculty who will certify that a student has or has not achieved our learning goals. In turn, they will gather information on student achievement that they can use to improve their programs. This project has consumed many hours of faculty and administrative time, and we are all anxious and excited to see it start to operate this year.

The Global MBA is

an exciting expansion of the partnerships we have developed with universities in countries like China, Peru, and Argentina. Using advanced technologies and based on innovative pedagogies, the Global MBA promises to allow Westminster to become a global leader in providing programs that focus on student learning. The program is being tested now in China and should be in full operation by next fall.

The Westminster Scholars Program was initially conceived as an alternative to our Honors program, designed to appeal to students who wanted to be intellectually challenged, but could not make the commitment of time that would allow them to maximize the value of the Honors program. It has achieved that goal—and much more. Utilizing a problem-based pedagogical model, the program has fully engaged students, encouraged them to do independent research, and provided them with the opportunity to work as peer mentors to the next class of Scholars. Enrollment in the program has more than doubled since it began in 2009. 17





$120 $100

$75 $ 50

$75 $50 $25


$ 0


Total $270,000

Total $250,000

Total $375,000

Total $225,000


$150 $100

$115 $100





$75 $50



THE PURPOSE OF PIN The President’s Innovation Network (PIN) is the educational equivalent of a venture capital fund. PIN supplies the seed money needed to support the kind of groundbreaking initiatives under development at the college. What type of change is underway at Westminster? Quite simply, the college is part of the leading wave of institutions that are purposefully and deliberatively transforming American higher education. Now just past the midpoint in our 10-year strategic plan, we seek to retain the college’s historic character and commitments while altering our educational approach in several ways. Here are examples of the educational principles guiding our effort: я We believe we need to shift the emphasis from what professors teach to what students learn. я We believe that learning will be deeper, more meaningful, and more useful if coursework requires students to be actively engaged in that learning process. я We believe that what students know is less important than what they can do with what they know. я We believe that students must go beyond discipline-specific knowledge and master skills critical to their success in areas such as communication, critical thinking, working with others, and ethical awareness. я We believe that what is learned outside the classroom can be just as valuable as what is learned within the classroom. я We believe that success in a global environment requires students to be familiar and comfortable with diverse ideas, perspectives, cultures, and people. Turning these educational principles into successful programs requires the commitment of substantial financial resources.


PIN SELECTION PROCESS At a school like Westminster, there are more innovative proposals worthy of investments than there are funds available. We use a complex process to determine which initiatives should receive support from this fund.

Consultation President Bassis consults with stakeholders both on and off campus. Most projects can be traced back to our strategic plan, while others come from faculty members with an interest in a given idea or area. As those ideas surface, he discusses them with his senior team, faculty leaders, the board of trustees, and Westminster friends who have a particular interest in an initiative under consideration.

Applying Specific Evaluation Criteria While discussing the various proposals, the president is concerned about three issues: 1. Can the initiative make a significant impact on student learning? 2. Does the initiative have capable and committed leadership? 3. Will the initiative support existing academic programs? In addition to academic considerations, two practical concerns impact decisions: 1. Would a modest investment of PIN money be sufficient to get the project off the ground and support it for at least a year? 2. Would the project attract additional funding from friends of the college, serve as the basis for viable partnerships with other entities, or generate a self-supporting revenue stream?

A PIN initiative must support current programs, attract solid leadership, and make a significant impact on student learning.


PRESIDENT’S INNOVATION NETWORK MEMBERS 2005–2010 Kim T. Adamson (’79)* Salt Lake City, Utah Jesselie and Scott Anderson Salt Lake City, Utah W. Melbourne (’69) and Kerry Armstrong Park City, Utah Jack~ and Nancy Behnken Ogden, Utah Big-D Construction Corporation Salt Lake City, Utah Leonard W. (’67) and Stacy Burningham Salt Lake City, Utah Dr. Rick (’76) and Katherine V. Campbell Park City, Utah James R.* and Barbara Clark Salt Lake City, Utah

Ginger G. (’65) and John Giovale Flagstaff, Arizona Susan Glasmann* and Richard W. Dudley Oakley, Utah Andrew* and Jennifer Harding London, UK Hank* and Patricia Hemingway Salt Lake City, Utah Bland and Liza Hoke Wilson, Wyoming Thomas J. (’94, MBA ’04) and Lisa J. Howells Sandy, Utah Corey S. (MBA ’06) and Rachael Kirkwood Salt Lake City, Utah

Alvin* (’82) and Helene Richer Salt Lake City, Utah D. N. “Nick” and Penny Rose Midway, Utah Khosrow B. (’72) and Ghazaleh Semnani Salt Lake City, Utah David* and Melinda Simmons Salt Lake City, Utah Derek and Genine Smith Salt Lake City, Utah W. Carter* (’80) and Leianne (’81) Stinton Sherwood, Oregon Dr. Paula Swaner Salt Lake City, Utah Anthony* and Carol Sweet Salt Lake City, Utah

The Very Reverend Dr. Frederick Q. Lawson Salt Lake City, Utah

Norman and Barbara Tanner Salt Lake City, Utah

William Orchow* and Janet Martineau (’86) Salt Lake City, Utah

Tesco Williamsen Michael F. Bills* (MBA ’03) Troy S. Hooton (MBA ’01) Salt Lake City, Utah

Anthony L. (’64) and Ann (’66) Merritt Mesa, Arizona

VCBO Architecture Steve H. Crane (’70) Salt Lake City, Utah

Bing* (’88) and Judy (’99) Fang Bountiful, Utah

Wood Moyle IV* (MBA ’06) and Marianne Moyle Park City, Utah

Dharmendra Verma Lincoln, Massachusetts

Bob* and Linda Frankenberg Alpine, Utah

William and Carol Redeker Ft. Myers, Florida

The Woman’s Board of Westminster College Salt Lake City, Utah

Robert* and Annie Lewis Garda Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Pat Richards* and William Nichols Salt Lake City, Utah

John S. (’56) and Joanne Young Holladay, Utah

Curt* and Mary C. Crowther Salt Lake City, Utah Steve Denkers Salt Lake City, Utah Raymond and Kathy Etcheverry Salt Lake City, Utah Rex Falkenrath and Amy Paul Salt Lake City, Utah

Clark* and Nancy Giles Salt Lake City, Utah

*trustee deceased




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