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Author: Glenn Sulmasy, JD, LLM

Future of Higher Education - A Four-Part Syllabus for Innovation
In debates about higher education in the US, tuition and loans dominate the discussion. Overlooked in the conversation, however, is how colleges and universities prepare students to succeed decades beyond graduation. The US Department of Labor estimates that today’s students will hold at least 10 jobs by the time they turn 40. For many of these students, the jobs of their future will require them to use technology yet to be invented to solve problems yet to be identified. The corporate world understands that success requires innovation. For their students’ sake—as well as their own—colleges and universities must break free of academia’s standard operating procedures and embrace innovation. If we don’t innovate, our students will suffer in the competitive global job market. And, on a global scale, organizations and economies will suffer from a workforce that is unprepared for the challenges of our times. Academic innovation is more than a buzzword. It requires purposeful change institution-wide. It is a leadership challenge for presidents, provosts, and deans. It is not solely about technology, but about pedagogy and facilities, too. And it is not reserved for STEM curricula but for all: business programs and the liberal arts, engineering and pre-professional programs. Here are four steps universities must take: Innovation means continually anticipating and adapting to the needs of society and the marketplace, and it is the key to long-term success in higher education. Universities must develop the environments, thinking, and practices that will enable graduates to thrive in a world where individuals, institutions, and businesses are increasingly interconnected and interdependent. Glenn Sulmasy is the provost at Bryant University. Follow Bryant University on Facebook and Twitter.