On July 2, 2013, the American Council on Education (ACE) announced the launch of the Presidential Innovation Lab, a collaboration of 14 university and college leaders, including University of Wisconsin System President Kevin Reilly, who are at the forefront of innovative efforts to increase access to quality education for underserved audiences. The initiative will open a dialogue to address how new technologies like massive open online courses (MOOCs) can help national higher education institutions close the college attainment gap especially among nontraditional and low-income students. Additionally, the group will discuss the impact that implementing these innovations might have on institutional design and financial models.
Under President Kevin Reilly’s leadership, the University of Wisconsin System has spearheaded research and collaborative initiatives focused on areas like improving student success, assessing student learning outcomes, and increasing access to liberal education throughout the country. One of these initiatives, the UW Flexible Option, is the UW System’s most far-reaching initiative that will bring competency-based, quality education to working adults at an affordable price. In fact, President Reilly has called the UW Flexible Option “the 21st-century face of the Wisconsin Idea,” a UW System principle that it should improve the quality of life for Wisconsin residents beyond the classroom.
Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Fund, the Presidential Innovation Lab will meet for the first time in Palo Alto, California on July 21-23, 2013. A second meeting will take place in Washington, DC in October.