College 2.0: An Entrepreneurial Approach to Reforming Higher Education: Overcoming Barriers and Fostering Innovation
A ar-reaching discussion is taking place in the United Statesabout the challenges acing higher education and the possible ormspostsecondary learning might take in the uture. Notwithstanding thestrengths o our best research institutions, the shortcomings o manyU.S. colleges and universities are signicant. There is growing evidencethat they need to ocus more eectively on student learning, improvecompletion rates, lower costs, make much better use o technology,boost productivity, improve delivery o instruction or nontraditionalstudents, and take innovations to scale more quickly.To make this happen—and to provide brand-new alternatives totraditional models—a more entrepreneurial approach to postsecondaryeducation is sorely needed. But even as a period o unusual ermentin U.S. higher education gets under way, numerous barriers continueto slow innovation and thwart experimentation, both in traditionalinstitutions and in start-up ventures.In an eort to understand the nature o those barriers and togenerate ideas or overcoming them, in December 2011 the EwingMarion Kauman Foundation convened a diverse group o analysts andpractitioners or a two-day retreat in Palm Beach, Florida. Participantsincluded Shai Reshe, ounder o the University o the People; themanagement editor o
; the ounders o startups 2tor,Inc. and StraighterLine; senior leaders o nontraditional universitiessuch as Olin College and Western Governors University; the presidentand CEO o Kaplan, Inc.; the directors o education policy at theAmerican Enterprise Institute, the Brookings Institution, and the Centeror American Progress; and proessors who both study and participatein postsecondary reorm initiatives.The gathering, part o the Kauman Foundation’s Law, Innovationand Growth series, was organized into panels addressing six broadthemes: Tackling Campus-Level Obstacles to Innovation; RethinkingAccreditation; Streamlining State and Federal Regulations; ImprovingIncentives to Boost Academic Productivity; Filling Inormation Gapsabout Student-Learning and Job-Market Outcomes; and OvercomingBarriers to Taking Innovation to Scale. The aim was not to limitdiscussion to these issues, but simply to provide provisional categoriesthat might oster wide-ranging conversation.Each participant prepared a short background paper andpresentation linked to one o the retreat’s themes. The resulting essaysare collected in this report, organized by theme. (A ull list o authorscan be ound ollowing this introduction, on page 7.) These thoughtulanalyses oer a window into how a range o articulate thinkersand doers approach the question o what is wrong with U.S. highereducation, and how it ought to be xed.The group did not emerge rom the Kauman retreat with aunanimous maniesto or policy platorm. That is no surprise: evena group o reormers o varying stripes is not guaranteed to reachconsensus on issues ranging rom rethinking accreditation to measuringperormance outcomes. At the same time, group members did ndcommon ground on many broad areas o reorm. This introductiongives an overview o the six themes discussed during the retreat (andaddressed in the essays in this volume), ollowed by an outline o thebroad areas o consensus that marked the proceedings.
Who Will Be Most Aected By Change?
Which postsecondary institutions are most likely to be aectedby the much-discussed orces o disruption aecting colleges anduniversities? David Breneman o the University o Virginia oered ananswer at the outset o the discussion that was broadly accepted byparticipants: elite institutions have much less to ear rom a newlycompetitive era than do the broad range o nonselective colleges anduniversities attended by more than 90 percent o American students.As he writes in his essay, “All Williams College has to do is attract itstarget o roughly 600 students each year to be successul.” By contrast,
Entrepreneurship in Higher Education Retreat
Ben Wildavsky and Robert E. Litan, Ewing Marion Kauman Foundation