President Anthony W. Marx established the Presidents Initiative Fund for Interdisciplinary Curricular Projects (PIF) in 2004 to provide support for projects that focus on themes or problems that can best be understood and addressed through interdisciplinary efforts and to inform the College’s deliberations about new curricular programs and scholarship.
One of this program's purposes has been to stimulate possibilities for curricular innovation at the College, and, by so doing, to inform the planning process of the Committee on Academic Priorities (CAP). Now that the Report of the CAP is moving forward, the initiatives that have evolved through the PIF can shift into the next phase of consideration by the Committee on Educational Policy and the Faculty as a whole. New proposals to the President's Initiative Fund (PIF) program are no longer being accepted. 2007-2008 is the last year in which PIF proposals for renewal will be accepted. The deadline for those proposals is November 1, 2007.
Proposals for renewal may include an array of activities. For example, for developing courses, support may be given for research and travel or to cover the costs of pedagogical materials. Funds may be used to invite visiting scholars to campus to lecture or consult for a day, a week, or a month, or to teach Amherst courses. Visitors may also be used to cover teaching in established fields, freeing College faculty members to teach PIF-related courses. PIF visitors may be brought to Amherst to teach up to two courses without involving a department. However, if visitors return to the College after their first teaching period to offer one or more courses, departmental involvement will be required. PIF visitors should, whenever possible, be affiliated with an Amherst department, and faculty members making proposals for visitors will find it advantageous to work with departments. If a group making a proposal cannot find a department to house a visitor, the Dean of the Faculty may designate a host department.
Ten copies of the proposal, which should be addressed to the President, are due in his office by November 1, 2007. All proposals are reviewed by the Committee of Six, which offers its recommendations to the President. Proposals should include up to ten pages of text, a brief CV of no more than three pages for every member of the PIF group, a budget, and clear provisions for assessing and reporting on the success of the project. The proposal must be accompanied by an interim report assessing the progress of the project, and an accounting. Requests for up to $50,000 per year, not including any related requests for visiting faculty appointments, will be considered.