While graduation season has drawn to a close, debate surrounding the future of U.S. higher education has only just begun. Notwithstanding the strengths of our premier research institutions, it seems every week brings more news about the significant shortcomings of many U.S. colleges and universities. Evidence is mounting that these institutions need to do much more than just lower costs: they must improve completion rates, hone their focus on student learning and workforce success, use technology more effectively, and take innovations to scale more quickly.
To tackle these problems and deliver effective new alternatives to traditional practices and models, education leaders and policy makers must embrace a truly entrepreneurial approach to postsecondary education. Unfortunately, numerous barriers continue to slow innovation, both in traditional institutions and startup ventures.
First, campus culture has traditionally been averse to the kinds of productivity improvements that have transformed other sectors of the economy. And regulators beyond campus walls often thwart innovation as well.