Arizona State University President Michael M. Crow is among more than a dozen leaders from a diverse group of colleges and universities examining the disruptive potential of new educational technologies, such as massive open online courses (MOOCs), to boost the number of Americans earning a college degree. The launch of the Presidential Innovation Lab was announced recently by the American Council on Education, the nation’s largest higher education organization.
“I look forward to helping lead a national dialogue about how newer educational innovations could be used by particularly older, post-traditional students, low-income young adults and other underserved students toward degree completion,” Crow said. “This opportunity aligns directly with our ASU vision as the model for a New American University – measured not by who we exclude, but rather by who we include and how they succeed.”
According to ACE, the Presidential Innovation Lab will bring together higher education leaders to engage in proactive thinking about this new learning space. The lab is part of a wide-ranging research and evaluation effort examining the academic potential of MOOCs announced by ACE in November 2012.
Initially, the lab will meet July 21-23 at the Institute for the Future in Palo Alto, Calif., an independent, nonprofit research organization that will help guide the work of the university leaders. A second two-day meeting is scheduled for October 2013 in Washington, D.C.
The new think tank of higher education CEOs will consider questions such as how newer educational innovations could be used by students toward degree completion and the potential impact of such innovations on the fundamental design and delivery of instruction. The lab participants also will examine how institutions recognize learning and which financing models underpin all of higher education.
Findings from the lab will be shared with ACE membership, policymakers and the media. Its work is being supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
In addition to Crow, other higher education leaders taking part in the lab include the following:
• Joseph E. Aoun, president, Northeastern University (Massachusetts)
• Chris Bustamante, president, Rio Salado College (Arizona)
• Scott S. Cowen, president, Tulane University (Louisiana)
• John F. Ebersole, president, Excelsior College (New York)
• Renu Khator, president, University of Houston, and chancellor, University of Houston System (Texas)
• Robert W. Mendenhall, president, Western Governors University (Utah)
• Mohammad H. Qayoumi, president, San Jose State University (California)
• Vincent Price, provost, University of Pennsylvania
• L. Rafael Reif, president, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
• Kevin P. Reilly, president, University of Wisconsin System
• Clayton Spencer, president, Bates College (Maine)
• Linda M. Thor, chancellor, Foothill-De Anza Community College District (California)