Shaping Arizona State University R&D and Growth for Equity

Project: Research project

Project Details


Shaping Arizona State University R&D and Growth for Equity Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation: Shaping Arizona State Universitys R&D and growth for equity The Postsecondary Success team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation identified a small set of national scale institutions that are reaching new levels of student enrollment and influence, and creating third-party organizations and infrastructure that facilitate scaling, reach new student segments, and advance the field. They accomplish this through a significant competitive advantage in R&D focused on leveraging digital solutions, big data, rapid prototyping, and multi-sector capital attraction and deployment. These institutions are better described now as national scale enterprises (NSEs). Enterprise features have led to scalable partnerships, a fly-wheel effect for enrollment, and the ability to quickly create new models and deploy them to new markets. Having said that, it is critical that institutional outcomes are equitable and that R&D is designed for equity. If not, national scale enterprises that occupy such a leadership role risk exacerbating inequality: sub-par performance at scale, destabilizing traditional institutions, and R&D that merely advantages the already advantaged. Further, COVID-19, demographic change, and alternatives to higher ed continue to place pressure on budgets and enrollment. Our forecasting efforts show these forces may lead to fewer options for students due to prioritization efforts and closures, a widening of the rural/urban opportunity divide, and limited equity-focused R&D, which will especially hurt Black students, Latinx students, Indigenous students, and low-income students. We believe that partnering with national scale enterprises on equity-focused R&D can help mitigate these forces and result in more high-value credentials for Black, Latinx, Indigenous and low-income students leading to more social/economic mobility and broader prosperity. This approach differs from our main delivery pipeline (through our Intermediaries for Scale) and, thereby, provides a complementary path to achieving the strategy outcomes.
Effective start/end date6/28/217/1/25


  • Gates (Bill and Melinda) Foundation: $4,344,521.00


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