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Teams of individuals interested in proposing a new CUR Institute should develop an informal proposal, which should be sent to the Executive Officer for review. It will be helpful for the new institute organizers to talk with those who have been CUR Institute Coordinators in the past as they develop their proposal. The organizers usually will be the first coordinators and are expected to pass that responsibility to others after a few years. The Executive Officer will provide names of past Institute Coordinators who can be helpful in learning about the elements for a successful institute. Once the information is assembled, the Executive Board makes the final approval of the institute as an official CUR program. 
 
Below are the items that are necessary for the Executive Board to consider a new CUR Institute, although all do not need to be accomplished at one time—it can be an iterative process. The draft budget is required for the final approval of the Executive Board.
 
  1. Title of the proposed CUR Institute
  2. Names of two persons willing to take initial responsibility for organizing the institute and to be the first official Coordinators
  3. A list of names of potential facilitators and whether or not they are committed to participate
  4. Purpose/goals/outcomes of the institute --- what the participants are expected to gain from the experience and what tangible outcomes are expected (e.g., grant proposal written, plan drafted for campus activities)
  5. Outline of the program for the institute -- this is the plan for accomplishing the goals. Provide the content of the workshop in the form of a draft agenda, annotated to explain the various sessions. Also include any pre- or post-meeting activities (such as a written self-study or plan)
  6. Audience for the institute and how the institute might be marketed to audience members
  7. How the institute relates to other CUR programming (including other CUR Institutes) --- e.g., is this a standalone institute, or would it link to other CUR programs? 
  8. List the textbook or set of readings for the institute (if something new be written, specify this (such as a CUR "How-To" publication)
  9. Whether or not teams or individuals are expected to participate
  10. Name and location of the first site (or a short list of possible sites)*
  11. Approximate time of year or proposed date of first institute
  12. Draft budget (The CUR Executive Officer will work with the organizers to draft the budget once the proposed site is known.)
 
* The site for a CUR Institute is usually the campus of one of the coordinators. It is important that the coordinators know the site well and can work easily with those responsible for food, housing, and meeting space. For the meeting space, a somewhat relaxing setting rather than a classroom building is preferred. If the campus has a retreat site where meetings can be held, that would be ideal.
 
Housing arrangements can be either in very high-quality dorms or in a nearby (but inexpensive) hotel. The cost and ease of local transportation is a major factor --- both to and from the housing site and to and from the airport. The cost of the institute is kept as low as possible while maintaining a high-quality experience for participants.
 
An alternate arrangement for a CUR Institute could be a retreat site in a recreational area. Some sites in mountain, lake, or shore settings are surprisingly inexpensive. They may be run by academic or religious groups, and some are only available for use by nonprofit organizations. Housing and meeting rooms plus natural settings (hiking, water recreation) are available in a package. Sometimes food is also provided as part of the package; in other cases, food must be brought in and cooked. The advantage of a retreat setting is the camaraderie that is generated. Evenings become powerful times for networking and brainstorming. The outdoor element prevents the fatigue that can otherwise occur during such an intense meeting.
 
All institutes should include some social time, either in the form of an outdoor experience or a special dining experience.
 
For questions or more information about the CUR Institute proposal process, please contact Tavia Cummings.