Mimi Lord, TIAA-CREF Institute
March 2007 |
The topic of transformational change in higher education has become increasingly prevalent over recent years. The reasons are many, including daunting fiscal and demographic challenges; institutional opportunities presented by new technologies; the growth of the learning industry; increased competition for faculty and students; higher expectations and changing demands from a wide and diverse group of stakeholders; and the need to adapt institutional structures to new teaching roles, learning preferences, and research and outreach missions. Always important, higher education has become even more essential to the economic advancement of individuals, regions, states, and nations. However, there is no guarantee that traditional structures and modes of operation will be the ones that thrive in the future.
Presidents and representatives from all levels of higher education convened at the TIAACREF Institute’s third annual National Higher Education Leadership Conference in New York City on November 2-3, 2006 to explore transformational change in higher education, whether and when change is needed, and how campus leaders can develop a vision and strategy for moving change from concept to reality. Institute Executive Director Madeleine d’Ambrosio introduced the conference theme of “Transformational Change” as “crystallizing a vision for the essential role of higher education in this rapidly evolving world, with particular emphasis on institutional leadership and the critical issues of funding and student access.”