Article IX – OURA Innovation Award2018-10-04T03:41:02+00:00

Article IX – OURA Innovation Award

This annual award program is designed to recognize, reward and share university achievements in improving the quality of, and reducing the cost of, academic administration in the following areas: admissions, registration, examinations, scheduling, transcripts, systems, records, calendars, scholarships and awards, secondary school liaison, and other activities or undertakings that may be deemed appropriate by OURA.

One innovation award will be available every second year, or at the discretion of the OURA Executive, and is valued at $5,000 to be given in the form of an endowment to fund a student scholarship at the winning institution. It is suggested that the winning institution consider matching opportunities from the Ontario government that may be in place at the time of receiving this award. Factors to be considered for the application and selection process:

1. The Selection Committee reserves the right not to give an award if not warranted in its judgment.
2. Initiatives may be resubmitted by an institution in subsequent years provided the submission contains additional qualitative and quantitative results.
3. Clear documentation of how the project is being implemented and, where applicable, clear evidence of the outcomes that reflect at least 12 months of measurable results are also required.
4. Applications will be published on the OURA web site. In addition abstracts of the winning projects, together with the title and contact persons for all submissions, will be distributed through the OURA Newsletter and list serve.

Awards nominees and the winner will be announced at the Annual OURA Conference. A plaque will be presented to the winning institution.

A call for applications will be made via the OURA listserv in November. Applications are to be submitted to the OURA Vice-President no later than January 1 for review and decision by the selection committee which is composed of the, Executive Director, Ontario Universities Application Centre, one member from OCAV, and one member of the OURA Executive (cannot be a member from an institution that has submitted an application).

Five categories will be used to evaluate submissions for the Innovation Award, leading to a maximum score of 100 points. The scoring factors and point values for each category are as follows.

Portability: The potential for use of the technique at other institutions.
Originality: The originality and uniqueness of the idea as applied to higher education.
Quality impact: The extent of the impact of improvements in quality of service as seen by the end user, or in working conditions as seen by staff.
Productivity impact: The extent of the impact of the improvements in productivity. The size of the institution will be taken into account where the improvements generate financial savings or increased revenue.
Involvement: The extent of the involvement of the entire institutional community. Consultation beforehand with staff and users, faculty and students, and broad acceptance of the changes will be taken into account.

Clarity of presentation is an essential element in the assessment of the portability criterion and a major consideration in the scoring in the other categories.