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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. 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

Bridget Burns, Executive Director of the University Innovation Alliance, and Derrick Tillman-Kelly, Director of UIA's Fellows Program and Network Engagement, speak with Dr. Don Pope-Davis, Dean of the College of Education and Human Ecology at Ohio State University. A leader who is passionate about using higher education to address issues of equity, economic growth, and the psychological well-being of educators and students, Dr. Pope-Davis discusses OSU's Dean’s Diversity Postdoctoral Fellows Program, the thinking and groundwork that led to its development, and preparing a campus culture for any large-scale diversity initiative. Topics include:

  • How diversity hiring doesn't always guarantee diversity retention
  • Building in the diversity before starting the Diversity Postdoc Program
  • Starting the conversation for cultural change within an institution
  • How smaller colleges can launch successful diversity hiring programs
  • Institutional behavior and institutional accountability

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