Innovation and inquiry parallel the principle of aiming for perfection. Both are fostered by conditions that inspire and liberate the creative potential from within.

By its nature, innovation involves ingenuity, high level receptivity to new ideas, integrative thinking and the ability to distinguish and connect information across disciplinary boundaries. It involves a willingness to experiment, to construct and deconstruct, to consider and then challenge what is to discover what can be. It involves discernment, a willingness to question the status quo and its inherent assumptions and take calculated risks.

The relevance of innovative and inquiring approaches to the future relates the current challenges facing Marshall University. Expanding operating costs, tuition restraints, declining public support, and threatened federal/state price controls all point to the need to do much more with less. This situation suggests that the future will favor institutions that organizationally are adaptive and inventive initiators of change. Inquiring, innovative thinking and practices that assist in re-conceptualizing organizational structures, practices, operations and alignments offer significant opportunities well-beyond that which can be accomplished by incremental improvements.