The Innovating Together Podcast

Welcome to innovating together, a podcast produced by the University Innovation Alliance. This is a podcast for busy people in higher education who are looking for the “aha moments” that can propel their work forward. Innovating Together curates the best insights, research, and experts.

Bridget Burns, Executive Director of the University Innovation Alliance, and Doug Lederman, Editor and Co-Founder of Inside Higher Ed, speak with Dr. Becky Johnson, Interim President of Oregon State University. She talks about effectively assuming a leadership role during a pandemic, not being driven by worst-case scenarios, and keeping an eye on the future while handling the current situation. Topics include:

  • The value of staying calm and thinking instead of instantly reacting
  • Assessing situations and concerns to better address the realities of the moment
  • Projecting confidence and ensuring continuity
  • Staying focused on the push for equity in higher ed
  • Building an effective team and guiding future leaders toward their ideal roles

Bridget Burns, Executive Director of the University Innovation Alliance, and Doug Lederman, Editor and Co-Founder of Inside Higher Ed, speak with Dr. Joseph Castro, Chancellor of the California State University System. Join us to hear his thoughts about listening to the people who depend on his leadership, the do's and don'ts of decision-making during a crisis, and the need to stay focused on the ongoing issues outside of any crisis. Topics include:

  • Balancing the system's needs with the autonomy of individual campuses

  • Being responsive to students' concerns and safety during the pandemic

  • Factoring in flexibility and compassion while responding to a crisis

  • Understanding the need to rethink and pivot based on current data

  • The ongoing work of addressing equity gaps in higher ed

  • The value of persistence, authenticity, transparency, and a good night's sleep


Bridget Burns, Executive Director of the University Innovation Alliance, and Doug Lederman, Editor and Co-Founder of Inside Higher Ed, speak with Dr. Kristina Johnson, President of Ohio State University. She talks to us about starting a new leadership job during the pandemic, how to improve public safety on and off campus, and the connection between diversity and opportunity. Topics include:

  • A year of public health restrictions

  • Connecting with students

  • Identifying the fundamental roots of increased crime

  • Academic excellence with a focus on inclusion and equity

  • The balance between team leadership and remaining a team player

  • Fostering a climate of partnership

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