2018-2019 OER Funding

For the second time, SUNY received $4 million from the State of New York to support the adoption and creation of open educational resources in the 2018-2019 academic year. Campuses who wish to receive funding are invited to apply by September 26, 2018.

Funding Overview

Funding is available in three components: Baseline and Course Section; OER Degree Program Adoption; and OER Creation. Campuses may apply for one, two, or all three funding components. We ask that Baseline and Course Section Applications and OER Degree Program Adoption Applications be submitted by the OER Program Leads/Champions. Creation applications can be filled out by faculty, though we recommend that you engage with them during their application process, such as advise on their application or fill it out on their behalf. Baseline OER funding of 10,000 dollars is available to all SUNY campuses. For campuses with an FTE count of less than 10,000, you must commit to creating 5 new OER course sections. For campuses with an FTE count of 10,000 or greater, you must commit to creating 9 new OER course sections. If you create additional course sections above the minimum requirement, you will receive $300 for each section. If you convert all sections of an additional course, or courses, to OER, you will receive $500 per course section. If you are approved to adopt an OER degree program, you can receive $25,000. If you are approved to create new OER, you can receive up to $35,000 and project management support. All campuses receiving funding are required to deliver a Sustainability Plan and add OER data to SIRIS.

Baseline and Course Section Funding

This application can be completed by the campus OER lead. Baseline funding of $10,000 is available for any campus adding new OER course sections (5 new OER course sections for campuses with a FTE under 10,000; 9 new OER course sections for campuses with an FTE over 10,000). Additional funds of $300 per section are available for course sections that exceed the campus minimum. If all sections of a course are converted to OER, the award increases to $500 per section.

OER Degree Program Adoption Funding

This application can be completed by the campus OER lead and a letter of acknowledgement is required from department chairs/deans. Access an overview of all SUNY OER Degree Programs currently available for review, adoption, and adaption. Approved proposals for full OER degree programs are eligible for up to $25,000 of funding.

OER Creation Funding

This application requires the participation of faculty subject matter experts who are proposing creation projects. Approved proposals for OER creation are eligible for up to $35,000 of funding.


Date Item
Aug 15, 2018 Application webinar to describe the process
Aug 21, 2018 Applications open
Sep 26, 2018 Applications Closed
Oct 15, 2018 First payment made for Baseline plus 50% of deliverable based funding
Feb 2019 Sustainability plans due and progress reports due
Mar 2019 Second payment made for 50% of deliverable based funding
For more information, please review the June 26, 2018 webinar slides and recording and FAQ below.

How to apply

  • Watch the recording of the August 15, 2018 OER funding webinar shown above or at https://youtu.be/eFck6dLRAQQ (link to slide presentation)
  • Applications are available in the SUNY dashboard of the Foundant platform.
  • You must have a Foundant account to apply. If you do not already have a Foundant account, please click here to create one.
  • After creating your Foundant account, you will be brought to a dashboard for the three applications.
  • Please direct questions to 

SUNY OER Funding 2018-2019 Frequently Asked questions

Please ask additional questions to
  • How do I apply for OER funding?
  • Are the applications live and are we able to update our applications until the closing date?
    • Yes, you have access to the applications and can make changes in Foundant until 11:59pm on September 26, 2018.
  • Are we including ALL OER courses running Fall and Spring , or just new OER courses in the application?
    • We are asking only for OER courses sections that were not previously reported.
  • Please explain the new course section requirement.
    • For FTE under 10,000 we require 5 sections. For FTE over 10000 we require 9 sections. These are sections, not courses. An institution can submit courses that are already under development. Labs and lectures can be counted.
  • Can Achieving the Dream courses count as new course sections?
    • SUNY OER Programming will work directly with AtD: Achieving the Dream campuses on this.
  • Will the baseline be paid directly to the campus or to individual faculty?
    • Baseline funding is paid to the campus.
  • Does the money need to be spent by the end of the fiscal year(s)?
    • Yes, state funds will need to be spent down by June 30, 2019.
  • For baseline funding, what happens if more sections are converted to OER than what was declared in the initial application? Are amendments allowed?
    • Amendments may be allowed if there is still funding available.
  • Will SUNY OER share a directory of all OER courses in the system?
    • We are working on this now. Getting campus data into SIRIS would make this happen quicker. We still do not know all the OER courses being taught. Further, campuses should share the OER being used in courses. SOS is planning on building a robust catalog of OER this year.
  • What are the restrictions for a campus in using the OER dollars?
    • The system office is allocating funds for deliverables (e.g. sections of adopting OER, funding for programs) the allocationof those funds (e.g. new course development time, ongoing OER course support, library, professional development, student fees) is up to the campus, as long as they spend the dollars to support OER activities.
  • Is the state the only source of OER funds?
    • Campuses can view the $4 million OER funding as the state providing seed money to spark local OER initiatives. Campuses may elect to make OER expenditures above the state OER funds, based on their own budgets and goals.
  • Is research being funded?
    • The Open Lab at UB is conducting research into OER. If your campus is interested in collaborating on empirical research, reach out to Sam Abromovich. Additionally, campuses reporting data into SIRIS will enable more quantitative analyses of the impact of OER across our system.
  • Can I count first-time OER sections being taught this summer as some of the “5 new sections” requirement?
    • Yes
  • Is the $10,000 separate from the $25,000 that is noted for degree program creation?
    • Yes
  • What is “new OER creation”?
    • New OER can be in any format: courses, labs, test banks, manuals, videos, etc. Approval is based on filling gaps in existing OER offerings.
  • Will funding be available for the odd 300-400 level course that is not high enrollment?
    • This is determined on a case by case basis.
  • When and how does the $25,000 for the full degree program become available?
    • That funding will be made available in October, 2018.
  • How can we see the content in the OER degree programs?
    • That content will be made available as soon as possible.
  • Can we assume the $25,000 for the full degree program is for next academic year?
    • The funding is for the academic year, but campuses are expected to complete the degree progam within 18 months of receiving the funding.
  • Is it $25k per program adopted?
    • Yes
  • How can we see the content in the OER degree programs?
    • A spreadsheet is available to download, where it lists the curated OER courses available that aligns to make a degree program. Many of these courses have been reviewed and taught with for a few years. But be aware, many of these courses will most likely be remixed and revised to meet the requirements and expectations of your faculty.
  • For the OER “degree” do 51% of the courses in the degree have to be OER. Or, does every course in the degree have to be an OER courses?
    • Every course needs to be an OER course.
  • Are we limited to adopting the listed AtD degrees or can we get funding for creating new z-degrees?
    • You may apply to create an OER degree program that is not listed. We will review all applications and give everyone equal consideration.
  • Can we do an OER Grad program?
    • Please apply and it will be considered.
  • For OER degrees, do all courses have to be OER, or can some be “no textbook” courses?
    • All courses must meet the SUNY definition of 51% or more of materials being OER.
  • Can a campus apply for more than one OER Degree program?
    • Yes
  • Where do I find the information from the 18-19 OER planning webinar?
  • Where do I find the information from the 6/5/18 SUNY OER Championship Summit?
  • How do I report on SIRIS?
    • Data gets reported into SIRIS by different departments at every campus. The first step is that the information needs to be entered into the campus Student Information System, such as Banner. This is done differently at each campus, but usually it is done at the academic department level, registrar, or an unit within academic affairs. Secondly, the information needs to be properly pulled out of the campus SIS and reported to System in SIRIS (that is typically done by IT or IR).
  • How does my campus code OER courses in Banner?
  • Do we have access to the software that creates courses using Waymaker or Candela?
    • As part of our system-level contract and partnership with Lumen Learning, you have access to Candela’s digital textbook development platform. Content for Waymaker courses also resides within the Candela platform but is then integrated with additional analytics-based personalized learning tools. Lumen will work as project manager in the development of Waymaker courses to support content development and the technical integration process.
  • Can we get an audit of everything currently being tracked by SUNY for our campus?
    • We will be providing regular reports from SUNY OER Services to each of your campuses this year.
  • Can I forward applications directly to my faculty?
    • The Baseline application should be completed by the campus OER lead. Degree Program and Creation Applications can involve faculty, but should be overseen by the campus OER lead.
  • Is the $35K for new OER creation individual faculty or the institution?
    • The $35,000 goes to support an OER creation project. Campuses can opt to have faculty enter into an extra service agreement with SUNY System, or apply for release time funds. Release time funds will be sent to the campus and the campus will manage that transaction internally on their campus.
  • How does $35K going to an individual faculty member work?
    • The $35,000 is the estimated cost to fund the creation of new OER. We do not envision $35,000 go directly to one faculty member, but will probably be divided amongst many.
  • Will unspent OER funding be carried over into the 2019-2020 academic year?
    • We do not know at this time if a carry-over will be possible.
  • If we have a 4 year degree program, could we use the 2-year content already developed and build on it for a 4-year program?
    • Please apply and it will be considered.
  • How can I see what OER courses I have already reported?
    • SUNY OER Services will send out reports to each campus early in September. They will be available by request after that time.