Affordable access to quality higher education has been a cornerstone of American life since the nation’s founding. American higher education is admired around the world as a model of excellence and innovation, but there is a consensus today that higher education in the U.S. is not on a sustainable path. There are no simple solutions to the problems plaguing colleges and universities. A small band of innovators has taken up the challenge, launched a revolution and has started to remake higher education. The result will be a new, more sustainable ecosystem. Technology holds the key to innovation in higher education. I want to describe the world that the innovators are building, using as examples the innovations powered by online education, unexpected partnerships, business reinvention and a willingness to disrupt the status quo. What will the University of the 21st Century Look like? It will be very different from the ones we attended.
Richard DeMillo is the Charlotte B. and Roger C. Warren Professor of Computing and Professor of Management, former John P. Imlay Dean of Computing, and Director of the Center for 21st Century Universities at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Author of over 100 articles, books, and patents, he has held academic positions at Purdue University, the University of Wisconsin, and the University of Padua. He directed the Computer and Computation Research Division of the National Science Foundation and was Hewlett-Packard’s first Chief Technology Officer. He is the 2013 Lumina Foundation Inaugural Fellow which recognized his founding of the Center for 21st Century Universities as a “unique institution.” He is also a Fellow of both the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Association for Computing Machinery. He is the author of the influential 2011 book “Abelard to Apple: The Fate of American Colleges and Universities” and an award-winning 2015 sequel entitled “Revolution in Higher Education: How a Small Band of Innovators will Make College Accessible and Affordable.” Both books were published by MIT Press.
Executive Director, Center for 21st Century Universities
Technische Universität München und fortiss GmbH
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