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Fresh From The UIA

Beyond the Final Four

When Villanova’s Kris Jenkins hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to win the men’s NCAA basketball championship last month, the nation erupted in cheers. America loves an underdog, and Villanova — a small private school competing against perennial powerhouse North Carolina — wasn’t expected to win. The championship was their first in 31 years and just their second in history.

Underdog stories are inspiring in college athletics because we love to see ordinary people achieve extraordinary success through hard work and determination. And in sports, there can only be one champion.

Last week we attended the 2016 ASU GSV Summit — or "Davos in Diego" as it's sometimes called — and wanted to share the archived video livestreams of our panels, particularly the popular Wednesday session, "Collaboration: the Next Force for Disruption," which also went by the title "Fast University: New Perspectives on Accelerating Innovation in Higher Ed" or as Arizona State University President Michael Crow dubbed it, "Fast University: No Longer an Oxymoron."

Research Universities

PORTLAND, Ore. – March 3, 2016 – The University Innovation Alliance (UIA) today announced an additional $3.85 million in new funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Ford Foundation, and USA Funds to support its work to improve college completion rates.

“This additional support highlights the philanthropic community’s enthusiasm for effective collaboration among colleges and universities to share and scale student success innovation,” said UIA Vice Chair and Georgia State University President Mark Becker.

Three Successful Strategies

Recently the venerable Washington Monthly took a look at "America's Ten Most Innovative College Presidents" and evaluated college presidents in a refreshing way. Instead of focusing on traditional success factors like selectivity, prestige, and the size of the university’s endowment, it featured presidents who have rolled out innovations in diversity, research, and affordability.

This year’s Hispanic Heritage Month marks the 25th anniversary of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. To celebrate, the White House has recognized institutions that serve as benchmark programs of innovation and effectiveness for increasing college participation and completion rates for Latina and Latino students. Take a look at the innovative programs four UIA universities are being recognized for—these could end up on other UIA campuses soon!

PORTLAND, OR, September 21, 2015 – Today, the U.S. Department of Education announced that the University Innovation Alliance (UIA) and Georgia State University were selected as one of the winners in its First in the World competition to encourage innovation among institutions of higher education. The UIA has been awarded $8.9 million to conduct a four-year research study on its 11 member campuses to evaluate the effectiveness of advising in increasing retention, progression, and graduation rates for low-income and first-generation students.

The University Innovation Alliance launched one year ago this month, and the progress in our first year has surpassed our expectations. We’ve sparked a national conversation challenging the existing values system in higher education. We’ve advanced new ways to incentivize collaboration and reward institutions for innovation that demonstrably improves outcomes for all students. And we’ve educated the higher education community, policymakers, and the broader public about the hard work needed to uncover new solutions that advance student opportunity.

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