The Innovation Imperative: Harnessing the Invisible and Invaluable Digital Infrastructure in Pursuit of Equity and Academic Excellence
Social, political, economic, and technological shifts have converged in recent years, amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic. This convergence has emerged at a time of declining public sentiment towards higher education and growing calls for reforms that center colleges and universities not on structures, but students. In response to this innovation imperative many institutions have gone to great lengths to reconfigure themselves in keeping with future trends in teaching and learning, and in support of students with evolving needs. The success stories that have emerged have some common themes, including collective sense of will and urgency among faculty, students, and staff; the ability of organizations to flex resources to emerging challenges and opportunities; and an intentional approach to leveraging an ongoing technological and analytics revolution in support of the people, communities, and economies our sector has the honor to serve. This presentation will unpack the opportunities and challenges present in our current environment, highlight emerging trends in the use of technology and data among colleges and universities, and engage the audience in looking around the corner to a bolder, better future.