Georgetown announces partnership with Arizona State to examine future of higher education

Georgetown and Arizona State University announced a partnership at Tuesday’s “Leadership for the Innovative University” panel discussion held at Georgetown’s School of Continuing Studies campus downtown.

The partnership will focus on leadership in higher education, according to Arizona State’s Senior Vice President James O’Brien. It could result in a program to educate administrators beginning as soon as the Fall 2014 semester.

Dean Walter Rankin of the School of Continuing Studies said that part of what made Arizona State an appealing partner for Georgetown was the differences between the two schools.

“ASU is public and extremely large (with over 30,000 students) and offers a number of courses and degrees online,” he said in an email to the Voice. “ASU is different from Georgetown, and we view this as a tremendous benefit in helping us engage more deeply in conversations about higher education today.”

Both O’Brien and Rankin stressed that administrators on both sides are in agreement for a plan that ensures that potential leaders will be guided to look outside the confining “walls” of academia to prepare them for their future jobs, for example, as a university president. “We’d have an initial cohort of mid-level administrators from colleges and universities around the country… sponsored by their institutions, who come together in Washington,” said O’Brien. “Second, we need a curriculum of activity for these administrators. Third, we need teachers to participate in the program and provide the right tone and environment for these administrators.”

The two universities, however, have a lot of work ahead of them in the exploration of creative solutions and innovation leadership. “We are still very much in the planning stages for what the partnership will entail. Our hope is to create a high-level educational experience for current and future leaders in higher education from deans through provosts and presidents,” said Rankin.

Photo: Georgetown University

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