You are here: Memorandum


January 24, 2017

TO: American University Community
FROM: Scott A. Bass, Provost
SUBJECT: AU Project 2030 Spring 2017 update and Call for Proposals

I am pleased to announce the re-opening of AU Project 2030 to new faculty proposals. Once again, faculty members are encouraged to envision the future of the university and submit proposals to strategically invest in future faculty and subject areas in which AU can gain enhanced national recognition. Faculty across the university are invited to submit proposals AND comment on submissions.

Over the past five years, significant institutional investments have been made in specific cross-cutting areas, including faculty hires, capital equipment, laboratory space, and renovations to enhance the development of the AU of the future. These resources have been invested in order to realize the goals of our Strategic Plan via the promotion of the scholar-teacher ideal-a prerequisite for providing an unsurpassed education to our students, demonstrating distinction in our programs, engaging in the great issues of our time, as well as achieving national and international recognition and distinction. For these reasons, resources continue to be made available to strategically invest in hiring of new faculty, at any rank, that intensify our existing scholarly efforts in select areas.

As AU Project 2030 has progressed since its inception in 2012, several research areas have emerged that cut across disciplinary or professional divisions. Hiring in allied areas has taken on its own momentum and has provided some new collaborations across campus. Below is a list of the cross-disciplinary themes that have emerged during the growth of the AU 2030 initiative:

  • Behavioral and cognitive neuroscience
  • Big data
  • Environmental studies/science and sustainability
  • Game design and persuasive play
  • Global economic and financial governance
  • Health, risk and society
  • Human security
  • Internet governance
  • Latin American and Latino studies
  • Metropolitan studies

Resources will continue to be invested in these and other intercollegiate or cross-disciplinary areas. As we consider prioritization of resources in additional areas, where do we want to influence the direction of the university over the next decade? In what fields should we further invest to propel AU to new levels of national and international distinction beyond what we have already committed?

In considering new faculty hires who could emerge via the annual process for funding department and division requests for filling vacant positions, I once again seek your input regarding fields and subjects that align across the academy. In re-opening AU Project 2030, I welcome proposals for the use of existing faculty lines and associated strategic investments in areas in which we further enhance and strengthen AU's intellectual impact and national stature.

Proposals should follow the process outlined below and are due by February 15, 2017.

  1. Proposal Development: Develop a one-page description of a subject or field in which AU has promise for development and can excel well into the future. Address the following items within the proposal:
  2. 1. The competition that AU will face and why it is a promising area of inquiry despite or because of this competition;
    2. An estimation of the faculty lines and additional resources needed over time for AU to be a major research player;
    3. and Names existing AU faculty and academic units involved in the proposed subject area.

  3. Proposal Submission for Faculty Dialogue: Go to the AU Project 2030 web page at accessible via the AU Portal (your AU user ID and password is required for log in), and upload your proposal.
  4. Faculty Dialogue: Once uploaded, interested AU faculty will have the opportunity to read and respond with constructive commentary on all uploaded proposals. Proposal authors may subsequently revise their proposal based on feedback received.
  5. Final Proposal Submission: The original author should submit the final proposal by March 20, 2017 to Attach the names of faculty who provided feedback on the proposal.
  6. Proposal Consideration: The deans and I will consider final proposals for funding. Support for ideas will extend beyond a single fiscal year. The AU Project 2030 page is active and ready for proposals submissions. I look forward to your suggestions and ideas as we begin the immediate process of allocating and authorizing faculty searches for next year and we strategically plan.