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Paper Addresses How Institutions Can Leverage Innovation to Improve Student Success

March 25, 2015

Academic Innovation Incubators White Paper


Huron Consulting Group, in cooperation with ACE, has released a Huron Education briefing titled, “Academic Education Incubators: Emerging Models and Strategic Considerations for Leaders.” 

The briefing concerns a topic that leadership teams at colleges and universities are deeply concerned about: how best to leverage academic innovation to improve student success, strengthen learning outcomes and enhance the experience of a postsecondary education.

“This briefing offers important insights into the types of questions colleges and universities are weighing as they consider how to incorporate innovation in their plans for achieving academic excellence,” said Deborah Seymour, ACE’s assistant vice president for education attainment and innovation. “I am looking forward to future research examining how innovation on campuses can directly lead to better student outcomes.”

The Huron Education-ACE briefing details questions universities should consider, such as:

  • At a time when many institutions are cutting expenditures, merging units and sharing personnel, are dedicated academic innovation units a productive investment? 

  • Is the academic innovation unit the beginning of a long-term trend or simply a “flash-in-the-pan” response to the proliferation of new solutions presenting themselves to the education industry? 

  • How can presidents, chancellors, system offices, and boards work cooperatively to support meaningful academic innovation that demonstrates direct contribution to student success without unnecessarily taxing constrained resources and focus? 

“Faced with unrelenting financial pressures, increasing competition for students and the growing demands for a more transparent educational ROI, colleges and universities are starting to take innovation more seriously,” said Peter Stokes, managing director, Huron Education. “This paper highlights the risks and opportunities of investing in innovation in ways that we hope will increase their chances of making smart decisions and achieving good outcomes.”

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