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ACE Presidential Innovation Lab Papers Explore Higher Education Business Model Challenges, Changing Faculty Roles

July 16, 2014

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ACE today released two reports inspired by the work of the Presidential Innovation Lab, an effort to explore the potential of educational innovations to boost the number of Americans able to earn a college degree.

The first of these papers examines challenges to the traditional higher education business model that are driven largely by financial concerns. The second explores the potential need to redesign college and university faculty roles. To read the papers, click here.

Fourteen chief executive officers from a diverse group of colleges and universities participated in the lab, which was launched last year with the goal of engaging in a robust and wide-ranging conversation about the various drivers of higher education change and potential reactions to those drivers. In particular, the purpose of the lab was to examine how technological, pedagogical, organizational and structural innovations can close persistent higher education attainment gaps, including those among low-income adults.

Two more papers resulting from the work of the Presidential Innovation Lab, which is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will be released later this summer. Participating in the Presidential Innovation Lab were:

  • Joseph E. Aoun, president, Northeastern University (MA)
  • Chris Bustamante, president, Rio Salado College (AZ)
  • Scott S. Cowen, president emeritus, Tulane University (LA)
  • Michael M. Crow, president, Arizona State University
  • John F. Ebersole, president, Excelsior College (NY)
  • Renu Khator, president, University of Houston, and chancellor, University of Houston System
  • Paul J. LeBlanc, president, Southern New Hampshire University
  • Robert W. Mendenhall, president, Western Governors University (UT)
  • Vincent Price, provost, The University of Pennsylvania
  • Mohammad H. Qayoumi, president, San José State University (CA)
  • L. Rafael Reif, president, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Kevin P. Reilly, president emeritus, University of Wisconsin System (ACE Presidential Advisor for Leadership)
  • A. Clayton Spencer, president, Bates College (ME)
  • Linda M. Thor, chancellor, Foothill–De Anza Community College District (CA)

"We are pleased to share these thought pieces inspired by the work of the Presidential Innovation Lab and believe they contribute to the national dialogue about various academic and financial innovations that colleges and universities are currently exploring," said Cathy A. Sandeen, ACE's vice president for education attainment and innovation, who edited the series of papers.

"College and university leaders nationwide are actively engaged in exploring how a wide range of innovations can help them meet a similarly wide array of challenges facing the American higher education system today," said ACE President Molly Corbett Broad. "The Presidential Innovation Lab adds other voices to that conversation, particularly in the vital area of raising attainment levels, including among older, post-traditional students, low-income young adults and other underserved students."

MEDIA CONTACT: Jon Riskind ▪ 202-939-9453 ▪ jriskind@acenet.edu

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