Undergraduate Course Development Fund Call for Proposals

PDAD&C #77, 2014-15

To:  Principals, Deans, Academic Directors, and Chairs
From:     Susan McCahan, Vice-Provost, Innovations in Undergraduate Education
Date: March 25, 2015
Re: Undergraduate Course Development Fund Call for Proposals

As part of the 2011-12 budget process, the Provost established the Undergraduate Course Development Fund (UCDF) to provide funding to graduate divisions (or divisions with graduate-only departments or faculty) for development and delivery of innovative undergraduate courses, allowing U of T undergraduate students to have access to the full range of world-class faculty at U of T. Over the last three years, 60 such courses have been developed, with UCDF funding now totalling $1.5 million per year. The attached document, distributed to P&D in October 2014, outlines the principles which guide the administration of the fund.

Given the success of the program, the Provost announced an expansion of the UCDF in 2014-15. Funding has now been set aside for an additional 20 half course sections. As in the first funding round, annual funding of $25,000 per half-course section will be provided to the graduate unit for approved courses with enrolment up to 50 students. Courses should be able to generate sufficient enrolment to provide an incentive for both the undergraduate and graduate divisions to continue the teaching arrangement in the long term.

In addition, the Provost has approved enhanced funding for larger course sections. Approved courses with enrolment greater than 50 will be eligible for funding of $40,000, and courses with enrolment greater than 200 will be eligible for funding of $60,000. Since large courses often have direct and indirect costs in excess of these amounts, course proposals must outline the sharing of revenues and/or costs between the undergraduate and graduate units. Divisions are encouraged to consider a funding transfer or in-kind contribution from the undergraduate unit to minimally cover the cost of teaching assistants and classroom space.

I encourage all units to consider how they might take advantage of this funding to support mutually beneficial teaching relationships. If you have an idea for a new course that might fit the UCDF criteria, please contact me directly. I will be reviewing proposals for the coming year beginning March 31, 2015.