UOnline Request for Proposals: 2015

 The university’s Academic Affairs leadership requests proposals from departments interested in engaging in the investment preparation phase for online programs. Investment preparation covers:
  • market research examining regional and national program demand and targeting
  • financial sustainability planning covering enrollment targets and required funds
  • curriculum alignment and program learning outcomes documentation
  • faculty online readiness assessment, consultation and workshops

Depending on the results of these investment preparation activities, selected department proposals may receive significant university services, resource investment and one-time funds to develop programs supporting our hybrid university concept. This enables a more strategic approach ensuring that the university and departments are well positioned to capitalize on opportunities.

Intent to Apply Email Due: April 30, 2015
Proposals Due: June 30, 2015
Submit to: Cory Stokes, cory.stokes@utah.edu

RFP Details and Formatting Guide for Download

  1. UOnline 2015 Request for Proposals – Online Program Investment Preparation
  2. UOnline Proposal Cover Page (Word document)

 Eligible Applicants

All academic departments and interdisciplinary programs are invited to submit proposals. Interested faculty should work through their department chair to develop a departmental proposal. All proposals must also include a dean’s letter of support.

Target Areas for Proposals

The university requests proposals addressing particular needs or demonstrated demand supporting the campus goals of increasing our graduation rate and reducing time to complete a degree. Proposals should address at least one of the following strategic priorities. Through this RFP, we are particularly interested in proposals that align with one or more of the following strategic priorities:

  1. Provide greater schedule flexibility for University of Utah undergraduates through online courses that reduce bottlenecks in the curriculum and offer the potential to improve student learning outcomes performance in critical courses. Target areas include courses where demand regularly exceeds capacity of available seats, courses that are often repeated, and prerequisites or foundational courses for entering or progressing in a degree program. This priority supports the university’s Plan to Finish initiative
  2. Baccalaureate degree completion programs (typically 60-hour programs), offered fully online, in areas of very high demand and/or where significant numbers of students who are interested in our programs cannot relocate to enroll on campus. Target areas include high enrollment majors and areas where the demand for prepared professionals exceeds available pool.
  3. Professional masters programs or certificates, typically one-year in length, offered fully online or with a minimal synchronous component. Offerings address areas of high market demand, or specific industry partnerships, where on-campus access is difficult to accommodate. Target areas include fields where the demand for prepared professionals exceeds available pool.

A Note about University Services and Department Investments

Further discussion, discovery and development around specific investment areas will happen as selected programs move through investment preparation to the development and operations phases. Generally, departments can receive one-time funds to incentivize faculty authors (up to $5,000) and seed funds for a department online coordinator position.

The university provides the following services to programs selected for investment at NO CHARGE to the department:

  • Department and faculty online readiness preparation workshops and experienced peer advisors through the Center for Teaching & Learning Excellence
  • State Authorization and compliance management
  • Instructional design and media production teams supporting the faculty author(s)
  • ONLN class schedule designation review and set up assistance
  • Online program general marketing services and listing on the UOnline gateway website
  • Online student recruitment, admissions and enrollment support
  • A shared Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) system
  • Online teaching, advising, library and eTutoring technology platforms
  • Online course exam proctoring
  • Student and faculty online class help desk
  • Online student data dashboards supporting intervention and retention activities for students participating in programs online

The university will not provide investment funds for departments to replicate these services. Departments who choose to augment these services with their own resources should coordinate closely with UOnline to ensure complimentary rather than duplicative services.