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Hampton University Strategic Plan

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The Six Strategies



1) IdeaSpace - This collaborative space is being created with the idea in mind of it being an area in which students across all disciplines can come and just be.  The focus is more on idea-generation and collaboration with only low resolution, basic prototyping.  The intention here is to have this area be a feeder that will see students generating ideas with others, branching out of their comfort zones, and then going forth into the myriad of other labs and spaces on campus for more in-depth prototyping.

2) Engage Underclassmen - Underclassmen have the highest probability of being interested in innovation and entrepreneurship.  Freshmen enter college with a clear outlook of the learning possibilities and endless opportunities that await them.  This time is ripe for them to be exposed to a culture that encourages them to do, and also inspires the dreams that will fuel these actions.

3) STEM Research and B-School Integration - Our School of Business is very active on the entrepreneurship side.  We have an entrepreneurship major and minor, as well as a very active Enactus chapter that meets each week.  There are a number of businesses started by business students each year.  However, there is quite a bit of separation between the School of Business and the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.  The goal of this strategy is to provide a means for allowing business students to gain hands-on-experience in applying business practices with a scientific or engineering background.  It will also give researchers exposure to entrepreneurship.

4) Change Intellectual Property (IP) Rules for Students - The rules regarding IP are one-size-fits-all at Hampton University right now.  Anything created while a student or faculty member is on campus, or utilizing university resources, belongs to the university.  This policy allows the university to keep 100% of 0.  This plan incorporates ways in which the student, faculty and university each get a share of ideas/companies grown from within, so then everyone is motivated to go forth and help each other succeed.

5) Industry Partners Bringing in R&D Projects as Prototype Challenges for Students - We want students to get accustomed to doing.  We do not want someone who may not be able to express their innovative ideas yet to be excluded from participation.  To this end, we'd like to involve our industry partners in such a way that they can bring ideas for things they need done, and then we can help students create prototypes to address those needs.  This will allow everyone to participate, even those who haven't tapped into their inner innovator yet.  Barriers to entry need to be minimized as much as possible.

6) Courses and Programs - Hampton University has programs and courses already that address innovation and entrepreneurship.  We could still use some more.  One exmaple of how this is being addressed is the creation of a new Software Innovation course within the Computer Science curriculum.  Created with the help of my Department Chair, Jean A. Muhammad, this course will be available for student enrollment in Spring 2015.

Top Two Strategies




1) Engage Underclassmen

Description: Underclassmen have the highest probability of being interested in innovation and entrepreneurship.  Freshmen enter college with a clear outlook of the learning possibilities and endless opportunities that await them.  This time is ripe for them to be exposed to a culture that encourages them to do, and also inspires the dreams that will fuel these actions.

This engagement will be achieved by a number of ways:

a) Prototype activities - Prototype activities are seen as any manner of action in which students are able to do something.  This can manifest itself in things as simple as: written lists or drawings on paper or whiteboard that can be iterated upon, test code snippets or mock-ups to express an idea for an app, Raspberry Pi or Arduino creations or any manner of expression from any discipline. A number of things can be done in this area.

b) We can have students gather in Leadership Circle meetings and have themed activities such as Build Nights, creative thinking workshops, collaborative thinking through team-building games and more.

c) We can co-sponsor activities to be held during meetings for established student organizations on campus, which will allow us to have targeted activities to reach out directly to specific disciplinary demographics that will support the movement.

d) Competitions - This category is where Hackathons, Business Plan competitions, Demo Days, Robotic Competitions, etc. come in.  This will allow the skills learned from the weekly meetings of the Leadership Circle and the other organizations we're cross-pollinating with to be put to the test so that the greater campus and community at-large can see what is going on with the movement.

Timeline:

  • Initial Leadership Council has been formed and students have convened.
  • Faculty across multiple disciplines, and from a variety of schools across campus, have been brought on board to be part of the movement, and to share in engaging students.  Passionate faculty with patent experience, extensive research experience or extensive industry experience have been, and are continuously being, sought after to participate in this regard.
  • Committee consisting of myself, Eric J. Sheppard (Dean of Engineering and Technology), Calvin Lowe (Dean of Science),Trina Coleman (Assistant Provost of Technology) and Otsebele Nare (Director of Business of Engineering) has been meeting weekly since early February to complete actionable items in regards to this, as well as all other strategies regarding innovation and entrepreneurship on campus.
  • As our semester ends in three weeks, we expect to have the activities and methods of engagement ready for the Fall semester to greet our students.




2) STEM Research and B-School Integration

Description: Our School of Business is very active on the entrepreneurship side.  We have an entrepreneurship major and minor, as well as a very active Enactus chapter that meets each week.  There are a number of businesses started by business students each year.  However, there is quite a bit of separation between the School of Business and the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.  The goal of this strategy is to provide a means for allowing business students to gain hands-on-experience in applying business practices with a scientific or engineering background.  It will also give researchers exposure to entrepreneurship.

This will be accomplished by the following:

a) Current research projects within the School of Science or School of Engineering and Technology will have descriptions, including information such as:

     i) Basic research, description of research, similarity to (or correlations with) commercialized products in the marketplace, expected research completion date, what the researchers
        expect to know/have completed upon completion date, etc.

b) Dean of the School of Business, students, faculty and administrators within the school will put together a team of 1 industry partner and 2-3 business school students to attach to the research team.

c) This School of Business team will work with the research team to come up with possible ways of transitioning from basic research to commercialization.

d) If a viable commercialized solution is created, a business will be formed, and seed money from the School of Business will be used to fund this transition.

This will benefit three key demographics in the following ways:

a) School of Business students are able to learn more about the fields that they will more-than-likely be applying their business skills to after graduation.  They will see how to analyze the market and find ways of taking unfinished, basic research and finding a way, or ways, it could address a problem for a wide number of people.

b) Scientists and engineers will be able to gain experience in learning how to build businesses around the solutions they're creating in the lab.  This will allow them to gain an entrepreneurial mindset, which can often be missing from those students with STEM backgrounds.

c) Business industry partners will be able to observe firsthand how business students are coming up with ways to monetize solutions within science and engineering.  Meanwhile, industry partners can see how the engineers and scientists are working through their R&D processes not only in the lab, but also working on the creative side outside the lab. This allows people to look at how a simple idea can go from basic tinkering and prototyping to having a huge impact.

Timeline:

  • Approached Sid H. Credle (Dean of the School of Business) about the idea.
  • Prototyped with Dean Credle how projects would be submitted, and the process for team selection.
  • Currently creating lists of projects, so the first project can be submitted to the School of Business.
  • Will beta-test the process this Summer.

Related Links

Howard Brown

Hampton University