Innovation strategies to address challenges facing higher education

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


American higher-education institutions exist in a rapidly changing landscape created by reduced tuition subsidies to state-funded institutions, declining funding for federal grants, increase in families’ share of tuition, reassessment of the purpose and value of a baccalaureate degree, fierce competition for students, and the presence of low-cost education providers. Graduating more students and increasing the quality of their learning are national priorities. Due to demographic shifts, institutions must act to enhance their institutional quality and reputation by expanding capacity to serve an increasing number of first-generation and under-represented students. Educational institutions that fail to develop the expertise to serve a diverse student body, with varying abilities, face existential challenges. This article offers lessons from an innovation initiative that used innovation tournaments, crowdsourcing, open innovation, and design thinking to address challenges facing higher education. This article additionally describes the challenges, structures, and processes used to generate ideas as well as the institutional support and lessons learned from implementing these strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-33
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Design in Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Design Thinking
  • Higher Education
  • Open Innovation
  • Project Design
  • Project Execution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Urban Studies


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