Initiatives: Leading Academic Change

The Kirwan Center plays a critical role in bringing together leaders in academic change from across the system and across the country to collaborate, share ideas and best practices, and build capacity to guide academic transformation.

In 2014, the Kirwan Center convened the first national Leading Academic Change Summit, bringing together 60 academic innovation leaders representing public and private universities, colleges, and state systems offices. During the two-day conference, participants shared insights into how people learn and how that knowledge can be combined with emerging technologies to transform and improve the student experience. Additionally, in 2015, the Kirwan Center released a market scan of postsecondary academic innovation centers across the country.

In spring 2018, members of the Kirwan Center’s Academic Transformation Advisory Council (ATAC) embarked on a project to conduct analyses of return on investment (ROI) on academic innovation efforts undertaken at their institutions. ATAC members are exploring ways to more effectively capture the impact of academic innovation, especially around ROI; applying an ROI lens in order to build a connection between innovation, student success, quality, and financial sustainability; and using ROI data to help communicate about the transformation work happening at each of the institutions and across the system. Results of these pilot analyses will be shared as part of a white paper to the field with the aim of creating a framework for conducting such analyses going forward.

Our Work in Leading Academic Change

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June 11, 2018

In spring 2018, members of the Kirwan Center’s Academic Transformation Advisory Council (ATAC) embarked on a project to conduct analyses of return on investment (ROI) on academic innovation efforts undertaken around the system. ATAC members are exploring ways to more effectively capture the impact of academic innovation, especially around ROI; applying an ROI lens in order to build a connection between student success, quality, and financial sustainability and examining how academic innovation contributes to all three; and using ROI data to help communicate about the work happening at each of the institutions and across the system around academic innovation.

October 27, 2015

Academic change is the term being used increasingly to describe universities’ efforts to improve student success by creating optimally effective learning environments that simultaneously increase access, affordability, and quality of higher education for all those who want a postsecondary degree. Institutions are starting to see the vast potential of hybrid classrooms, shared courseware initiatives, open educational resources, competency-based education, learning analytics, and adaptive learning environments and they are seeking ways to scale and sustain these innovations. Among the positive outcomes from these change efforts have been two interesting developments.

May 11, 2015

The Leading Academic Change Summit provides a rare and exciting opportunity for transformation leaders to meet with peers and learn about the portfolios of work underway.  During the highly interactive 2-day conference, participants share insights into how people learn and how that knowledge can be combined with emerging technologies to truly transform and improve the student experience.