Leaders in the Emerging Field of Academic Transformation Meet to Discuss How to Drive Change in Higher Education
Group identifies major barriers and opportunities
(Adelphi, Md., Dec. 22, 2014) -- The University System of Maryland Center for Academic
Innovation at its inaugural Leading Academic Change Summit, co-hosted by the Bill and Melinda
Gates Foundation, identified two leading barriers to academic innovation:
shortage of funding and institutional culture.
The Summit, held earlier this month at
University of Maryland University College, brought together 60 academic
innovation leaders, representing public and private universities, colleges, and
state systems offices from all across the United States. The Leading Academic Change Summit provided
a rare and exciting opportunity for academic transformation leaders to meet
with peers and learn about the portfolios of work underway.
A pre-conference survey of participants,
all of whom are on the vanguard of the emerging field of academic
transformation in higher education, revealed that 31 percent identified the
shortage of funding and resources as the top barrier to academic innovation,
with 30 percent of voters citing institutional culture as the primary barrier.
Conversely, 41 percent of summit
participants identified support from leadership and administration on campus as
the most helpful driver behind academic innovation. Another 22 percent cited
working with strategic partners as the most helpful form of support.
among participants over the highly interactive two-day conference centered on
how to overcome barriers and capitalize on opportunities to effect higher
"The Summit connected individuals from
across institutions who are dedicated to academic change work," said MJ Bishop,
Director, USM Center for Academic Innovation. "It gave us a chance to exchange
ideas and aspirations, and discover what is working to create the most
effective and efficient learning environments that enhance student success."
The Summit brought together
participants with a wide range of professional backgrounds to this newly minted
area of academic innovation, including college faculty, business and industry, informational
technology, instructional design, learning sciences, and K-12 leaders.
Nearly all (94 percent) had been in
their roles as academic transformation leaders for six years or less, and more
than half for three years or less. In their current roles as academic transformation
leaders, more than 75 percent are currently affiliated with academic affairs
departments at college or university campuses.
"In supporting academic communities
devoted to higher education change, we help catalyze improved access, lower
costs, and better outcomes for all students," said Bishop. "We hope to continue
offering conferences and exchanges of this kind because the collective energy
and insights that emerged were powerful."
The USM Center for Academic
Innovation seeks to help transform public higher education by identifying and scaling up
strategies proven to increase access, affordability, and outcomes of higher
education The Center is dedicated to promoting,
studying, and disseminating groundbreaking academic transformation work within
Maryland and across higher education nationally.
Contact: Mike Lurie