PRiMEtime’s Guide to Implementing PRME: 100 Tips from Signatories (part 5 of 5)

The PRiMEtime Guide to Implementing PRME is made up of 100 tips from signatories around the world. These posts, which will be published over the next few days, are organised into the following sections: why and what, what to focus on (part 1), getting started, designing your initiative, moving forwards (part 2), putting together a team, the importance of developing relationships (part 3), focus on faculty, focus on students, the importance of partnerships (part 4), funding and final words of advice (part 5). For more information about the context surrounding the tip, click on the links to read the full blog post.

Funding

  1. Think about what kind of funding you really need. “Resource scarcity is not a limitation, it is an opportunity to become better in what you do.” Marcela Ramirez-Pasilla, Jonkoping International Business School, Sweden (Click here for more)
  2. Use what you have. “Make use of the resources that you have, informal networks, faculty that have an interest in this area, and build from that. We have very little funding for our programmes but have still been able to make them work. Cooperation has been made possible by informal networks involving faculty across departments. From the beginning we’ve clearly taken the approach of using content that relies more on existing resources and structures – we wanted to move fast and develop this thing into something meaningful so by keeping the costs down, we gathered, correctly in retrospect, that it wouldn’t hit many snags on the way up the decision-making ladder.” Nikodemus Solitander and Martin Fougere, Hanken School of Economics, Finland (Click here for more)
  3. Be creative. “Fundraising is time consuming and efforts do not always yield results. It requires patience, and a true belief in your cause as that belief, or value attached to what you are doing, is often what keeps you going in the face of obstacles or setbacks. I also advise to have a wide portfolio of fundraising methods.” Linda Sama, St. John’s University, Canada (Click here for more)
  4. Be persistent. “My advice is that persistence will pay off. Our first semester after the fund was approved was full of organizational and committee work that had nothing to do with actual green projects. It can become quite burdensome and a significant time commitment, so it’s important that you have leadership in the group that can keep the committee focused and determined. Once projects are funded and you see progress being made on campus, it’s INCREDIBLY satisfying!” Eric Douthirt, Todd Shank and Michael Leggett, University of South Florida Saint Petersburg, US (Click here for more)
  5. Develop these relationships. “Remember to thank your donors and keep them informed of program progress. Beyond thank you letters in response to donations or support, it is worthwhile to spend a little money for a thank you event so that more money can be raised in the future – this is not merely reactive, but a “proactive” initiative to offer thanks. Nurturing relationships is key to fundraising.” Linda Sama, St. John’s University, Canada (Click here for more)

Final Words of Advice

  1. Have fun with it. “Try to make such events fun for everybody involved. If a student activity in the end of the day is not enjoyable, it won’t last.” Danil Muravskii, IBS-Moscow, Russia (Click here for more)
  2. Take it one step at a time. “It might seem as an overwhelming task, but just get started on the journey. There are ups and downs along the way, but if you keep pushing and engaging colleagues in the efforts, you will see results.” Louise Kofod Thomsen, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark (Click here for more)
  3. Keep communicating. “The report provides a snapshot of all your actions. Reporting will help you to bring these different initiatives together, as they can often appear highly fragmented. This will highlight the successes of your teams and also allow you to see gaps and weaknesses that need to be worked on.” Jean-Christophe Carteron, KEDGE Business School, France (Click here for more)
  4. But be careful about your message. “Say less, and show more. A lot of the reports I looked at have long, indeed overwhelming lists, and it is hard to determine which practices hit the spot of their core constituencies. I was often lost among strong statements of plans and rarely found that glimmer of hope and possibility that most expect to take away from a class well taught, or a day well-spent doing something worthwhile. Some of the reports included picture-perfect shots of facilities, but the ones that I wanted to learn more about were the ones that capture leadership in the making, those moments where you could just tell something special and memorable had taken place. Those are the ones I keep searching for—because those are the one that will add value at Ivey.” Oana Branzei, Ivey Business School, Canada (Click here for more)
  5. Be flexible. “I think it requires a lot of experimentation with various formats to see which one works best, and the flexibility to change formats or assignments in case something doesn’t work. It also requires very close contact with students. It is important to really show the students the relevance of a new format and the tools to use it, through this type of teaching innovation. Otherwise students will reject it.” Christophe Hienerth, WHU-Otto Beisheim School of Management, Germany (Click here for more) 
  6. Be patient. “It can be extremely frustrating when you cannot get a hold of the information you want, but be patient and accept that you won’t ever get all the information.  But if you get some, you can add to it the next year—people get used to providing you information and you know where to go for information next time around.  To prepare a perfect report requires a perfect internal organization of an institution, but let’s just admit that is not the situation for most institutions—especially higher education.  You are only as strong as your weakest department, and although the process of reporting should encourage a better performance, it’s difficult to report if departments, people, information is not organized and accessible.  It’s better to achieve something than get discouraged and quit trying to achieve perfection.” Talia Stough and Kim Ceulemans, University of Brussels, Belgium (Click here for more)
  7. Keep it going. “One key challenge these types of interdisciplinary programmes may have is that faculty members are often members of a “home” department. This can result in them being pulled in different directions. One challenge of these programmes is that they often belong to everyone and no one. Several faculty members need to be deeply committed to the programme to make sure the needed things actually get done. We’ve been lucky to have this, but sustaining this commitment over time is a challenge for any interdisciplinary programme.” Cory Searcy, Ryerson University, Canada (Click here for more)
  8. Perseverance is important. “A PhD Fellowship such as this one needs a network of committed individuals. This group might consist of an engaged PhD administrator or academic director at the university, a few professors, and an NGO like oikos that can give input from the outside. Then it needs a lot of perseverance and patience – academic research takes a lot of time!” Lena Hoernlein, St. Gallen University, Switzerland (Click here for more)
  9. Give it time. “Do it! Although the scheme has taken some time and effort to put in place, it has been well received and has really helped to raise awareness of ‘green’ issues, events and projects at the university. You need to be willing to put the time and investment in place to run the scheme actively, as volunteers need to feel that they are being offered support and that they are getting some benefits out of the scheme. It’s not always easy to engage people, so don’t expect the first year to be perfect but, with time, the scheme will grow and improve.” Victoria Johnsen, Aston Business School, UK (Click here for more)
  10. Its worth it. “My general advice would be “if you are thinking of designing something like this, go for it!” I can honestly say that the impact this programme has had on my students, our community, and even myself, was beyond what I imagined it could be. This has been one of the most rewarding teaching and learning experiences I have had to date, and many of our GLFS students have said the same.” Jennifer Marrone, Albers School of Business and Economics, US (Click here for more)
  11. Share what you learn. “PRME is aprocessrather than a one-off event or accomplishment. We certainly don’t feel that we have reached the end of our journey nor got everything right, and we are open to ideas and learning from others. PRME is not a competition (even though we were proud to win an award!) but an opportunity for sharing experiences and improving together. Sharing knowledge and experience strengthens and enhances rather than diminishes it, so we would advise others who are preparing their own SIP reports to take what they can from other members of the PRME community, adapt it where necessary – and perhaps even improve it in the process – and let others know about they have learned from their experience.” Stephen Sinclair and Dr. Alec Wersun, Glasgow School for Business and Society, Scotland (Click here for more)
  12. Learn from each other. “The world is so big and problems are many. No one institute can cater to all the needs of the community. Any school can do what AUN is doing. We all need to be willing to learn from the experiences of others and willing to share our own. Everything is replicable. If we cannot eliminate poverty, literacy and environmental problems, at the very least we can reduce it and Universities and business schools play such a key role in this.” Vrajlal Sapovadia, American University of Nigeria, Nigeria (Click here for more
  13. And last but not least “Only one thing: give it a try, and persevere!” Willem Fourie, University of Pretoria, South Africa (Click here for more)

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