Grand Challenges for tough-to-solve problems have been documented in higher education as far back as 1906. Earlier this year, EDUCAUSE issued a number of Grand Challenges for Higher Education that their leadership believed could be solved through a digital transformation.
Shortly after EDUCAUSE conducted its survey of higher ed presidents, provosts, Chief Information Officers (CIOs), and Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) but before it published Grajek and Brooks’ Grand Challenges, the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The pandemic caused the closure of most campuses, required students and faculty to learn and teach from home, and impacted the revenue and expense stream of most colleges and universities.
It’s my guess that EDUCAUSE researchers Susan Grajek and Christopher Brooks purposely listed External Competition as the fourth Grand Challenge for higher education institutions to rise to overcome through a digital transformation. Understanding that the requirements for a digital transformation require digitization and digitalization as the first four steps is not enough, as they point out.
This article is Part 2 of a two-part series on the digital transformation of educational institutions and solving two of the Grand Challenges in higher education: reputation and relevance. This article discusses reputation and how American Public University System (APUS) has met that challenge.
This article is Part 1 of a two-part series on the digital transformation of educational institutions and solving two of the Grand Challenges in higher education: reputation and relevance. This article discusses relevance and how American Public University System (APUS) has met that challenge.
Of the four Grand Challenges to higher education, financial health is foremost among the minds of many traditional higher education institutions, particularly in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Recently published articles and books call attention to the warning signs and at-risk metrics for traditional institutions that are financially troubled. For example, I’ve written about Robert Zemsky’s College Stress Test, Scott Galloway’s Value-to-Cost ratio and Vulnerability Score, and the Hechinger Report’s Financial Fitness Tracker.
In the latest issue of the Educause Review, Educause researchers Susan Grajek and D. Christopher Brooks write that Grand Challenges should be issued to encourage institutions to solve some of the biggest issues in higher education and that a digital transformation could be the best way to solve those challenges. For the uninitiated, a Grand Challenge “describes desired outcomes to problems that are extremely difficult (but not impossible) to solve and that are widespread, if not global, in scope.”