March 17, 2021

177: A Focus on Completion - with Dr. Bridget Burns, Executive Director, The University Innovation Alliance

177: A Focus on Completion - with Dr. Bridget Burns, Executive Director, The University Innovation Alliance

Welcome back to America's leading higher education podcast! In this fantastic episode of The EdUp Experience, sponsored by Element 451, we talk with Dr. Bridget Burns, Executive Director of the University Innovation Alliance.  Helping low-income, first-generation, and students of color is not something universities have typically been good at.  The University Alliance is focused on completion - who is completing and who is not.  Higher education was never designed around students; the entire traditional infrastructure of colleges and universities was designed around faculty, which were the intellectual capital of the institution.  UIA works to deconstruct and rebuild the operations around students and innovation to accomplish the goals of helping society - by helping the low-income, first-gen, and students of color.  The pandemic has, however, hit students and faculty hard.  It's time to innovate further, according to Bridget.

For the past decade, Dr. Bridget Burns has advised university presidents, system chancellors, and state and federal policy leaders on strategies to expand access to higher education, address costs, and promote completion for students of all backgrounds. Named one of the “16 Most Innovative People in Higher Education” by Washington Monthly, she is the founding Executive Director of the University Innovation Alliance (UIA). The UIA is the groundbreaking national consortium of public research universities igniting a movement through their collaborative work (innovate together, scaling “what works”, & broadly diffusing what they learn) to close their achievement gaps and improve outcomes for all students. The UIA was developed during Dr. Burns's tenure as an American Council on Education (ACE) Fellowship at Arizona State University.

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