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Office of the President
University of the Pacific
3601 Pacific Avenue
Stockton, CA 95211
209.946.2222

Innovation

The first Commitment of Pacific Rising states that "Pacific is committed to innovation and creativity across the University." This will be achieved through two specific Strategic Directions.

  1. Expand innovation in academic programs through an ongoing innovation process, support to pedagogy and research and new education and service delivery models.

  2. Enhance University administrative programs and services through innovation and creativity by targeting fundraising, increasing incentives and improving services and programs.

In May of 2007, Pacific hosted a national panel of three experts to assess our culture, readiness, and capacities for innovation at Pacific. The report of the panel summarizes their findings and offers possible actions in response.

What is innovation?

Here are some common definitions:

  • the introduction of something new
  • the first attempt to put an invention into practice
  • the successful exploitation of new ideas
  • using a tool in a new way
  • change the creates a new definition of performance

Types of innovation:

  • incremental innovation, where something current is adapted or modified, typically does not involve sweeping changes
  • radical innovation, involves completely new ideas, and often disrupts regular patterns

Characteristics, Concepts and Processes:

  • innovators are unaffected by the idea of failure -- failures provide learning and reuse opportunities
  • innovation is multidisciplinary, with ideas occurring at the intersection of disciplines
  • third-party experimentation with innovations often expands their application
  • useful innovation is robust, flexible and adaptable
  • innovations often arise from hidden needs
  • innovators like to make products that are immediately useful to their first users
  • innovations diffuse in a linear predictable pattern, sustaining innovation requires additional nonlinear processes that constantly recreate
  • creativity may be an individual process but innovation must occur in the organizational context