At the University Innovation Alliance, we believe that innovation and change are best sustained through a movement that brings inspiration, community, and purpose to the difficult daily work of redesigning higher education. In 2022, our board, staff, and network convened in person for the first time in three years. Four new universities joined the UIA, bringing fresh energy and ideas. We released two new playbooks to assist leadership teams in their practices of proactive advising and college-to-career transition. We produced our 100th live-stream episode of the Innovating Together podcast, and our newsletter tripled in subscribers. We raised $5 million for cutting-edge collaborative innovation projects, and we welcomed new colleagues and partners to the digital ecosystem of our University Innovation Lab.
As we approach our ten-year anniversary of accelerating student success innovation across higher education to drive social and economic mobility nationwide, I am grateful and humbled that this movement has expanded and evolved to inspire so many institutions and student success leaders beyond the UIA. It is an honor to share what we've learned and to hear how other institutions are building on our lessons. We know that when universities collaborate, students win -- and when students win, our country's future is bright. Thank you for being part of our innovation community.
Impact and Scale
UIA institutions' deep commitment to producing more low-income graduates and graduates has been paying off. Data from fall 2022 show that founding UIA institutions have produced over 118,500 additional degrees above baseline projections and are on track to double their 68,000 degree goal by 2025.
We welcomed four new institutions in 2022 -- Virginia Commonwealth University, the University of Illinois Chicago, the University of Colorado Denver, and the University of Utah -- bringing the UIA's network to 15. Our institutions now enroll 502,000 undergraduates, including 154,000 Pell recipients and 168,000 students of color, and produce 114,000 annual bachelor's graduates.
This year we opened our University Innovation Lab to student success leaders across UIA institutions. We released a virtual course in process mapping and developed 95 downloadable tools and templates (such as this institutional habit planner and this tactics for student-centered design worksheet). Our team developed ten virtual events on topics ranging from navigating burnout to defining student success from a student-centered lens.
We're excited to see the Lab support our member campuses. We believe that sharing the best templates, tools, resources, and materials will make innovation adoption easier and faster for thousands of student success administrators. Beginning in 2023, we are making the Lab available to individuals and institutions outside the UIA, paving the way for broader progress across the sector. To access the Lab as a non-UIA member, please add your name to our wait list.
Diffusion to the Field
In 2022, we proudly elevated three playbooks designed to share what we've learned across the sector, each released in public webinars in partnership with the Chronicle of Higher Education:
- Completion Grants Playbook based on our 2017-2021 scale project funded by Ascendium Education Group and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
- College-to-Career Playbook based on our 2018-2021 design thinking project funded by the Strada Education Network
- Proactive Advising Playbook based on the UIA's 2016-2020 federally-funded RCT study of proactive advising
As we document our next wave of scale projects, we look forward to sharing more playbooks. We hope you'll let us know what you think of these resources and how we can improve them.
2. Live Content
The pandemic taught us valuable lessons about resilience and functioning as a virtual organization in the higher ed sector. The UIA reflected that with web shows elevating topics and guests that directed attention to the issues and values we prioritize: equity, student success, experiences and outcomes for traditionally underserved communities, and diverse leadership. These shows have allowed the UIA to reach and inspire leaders and practitioners beyond member campuses. We produced a cross section of the following livestream shows in 2021-2022:
- Weekly Wisdom: Quick interviews with sitting college presidents and chancellors
- Scholarship to Practice: Interviews with higher education scholars and researchers
- Innovation Spotlight: Short interviews with experts on specific interventions, innovations, and solutions
Thanks to support from the Carnegie Corporation of NY, Inside Higher Ed and the UIA teamed up to bring our live Weekly Wisdom show to the broader higher education community. Over 250,000 higher ed leaders, staff, faculty and advocates watch each episode across our audiences.
The UIA's Innovating Together Podcast translates content from our web shows into audio format. Innovating Together reached its milestone 100th episode at the end of 2022 and ranks in the top 5% of podcasts globally. Find and share it via your podcast app!
The UIA's monthly newsletter provides actionable strategies, resources, and tips for professionals in the field to help more low-income, first-generation, and students of color graduate from college. Each month we aggregate and share the best of what we've learned, heard, and read. In 2022 we tripled our subscribers, reaching far beyond the Alliance to engage and inspire those who share our values of equity, innovation, and collaboration. We invite you to sign up for the newsletter and share it with your networks.
Partnership Makes Everything Possible
The University Innovation Alliance is powered by three knowledgeable, passionate teams. We credit the ongoing success of our efforts to the individual and collective skills of these luminaries:
• The UIA Board governs and leads our organization. This group of dynamic presidents and chancellors from our member institutions embody our vision and commitment to success for low-income students and students of color.
• The UIA Liaisons are the driving force behind our day-to-day efforts. They're embedded in our institutions to offer strategic guidance, collaboration, insight, and on-the-ground leadership. They mentor and supervise UIA Fellows, convene student success teams, and ensure organizational accountability for their presidents and chancellors.
• The UIA Fellows program is our hands-on professional development lab for rising, innovative higher ed professionals. These early- to mid-career educators have gone on to serve in leadership roles on member campuses, lead national collaboratives, serve in faculty roles, and work for research organizations. They are the future of our sector.
We also extend our deepest thanks to the partners who have offered their philanthropic support since the UIA's inception in 2014. While there are too many too name here, we are honored and grateful that they've shared our vision and enabled our movement toward a more student-centered model of higher education. Additionally, we applaud our member institutions for empowering the UIA’s mission – and to the students who inspire this work every day.
Note: This blog, adapted from the UIA's Annual Report, is the first of two highlighting our progress in 2022. We invite you to read Initiatives for Student Success and Seeds of Higher Ed Transformation in 2022.