University Innovation Alliance Unveils Agenda for Inaugural Summit on Student Success

By The UIA Team
February 20, 2018
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Portland, Ore. – The University Innovation Alliance (UIA) today released the formal agenda for its first ever National Summit for Student Success Innovation and Campus Transformation, which will take place April 3 through April 5, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. The Summit builds on the Alliance’s commitment to identifying, scaling, and sharing innovations that improve college graduation rates for first-generation college students and those from low-income backgrounds.

The three-day event is designed for leaders, administrators, and faculty in higher education to come together and share ideas and strategies to improve every student’s opportunity for success. Participants will hear from featured speakers including Tim Renick of Georgia State University; Michelle Weise of Strada Education Network; Arizona State University President Michael Crow; Paul Quinn College President Michael Sorrell; and Clare Cady, founder of the College and University Food Bank Alliance. In addition, they’ll experience the UIA’s approach to convening, collaboration, and the scaling of student success innovations across the 11 public research universities, which has resulted in increasing the number of degrees awarded to low-income students by 25 percent.

“This will not be your typical higher education conference. No long keynotes or congratulatory panels. Instead, we’ll have honest conversations about the challenges in this work,” said Bridget Burns, executive director of the UIA. “If we want to inspire real transformation in higher ed, we need to create a community environment where people trust each other. Our goal is to bring teams from universities together to build a network of innovators.”

During the Summit, participants will hear first-hand from UIA leaders about their experience working together across campuses, sharing and scaling cutting-edge innovations, and learning from each other’s successes and failures. Sessions will range from interactive panels to TED talk-style presentations that cover topics such as redesigning campus policies and processes around students, building and sustaining cultures of innovation and collaboration, optimizing change management, and innovating financial aid.

“Colleges and universities need to find better ways to share and test new ideas. By bringing campus teams together and by sharing data—both good and bad—the UIA has accelerated the rate of positive change and improved outcomes for tens of thousands of students,” said Tim Renick, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Success and University Vice Provost of Georgia State University.

Attendees are encouraged to come in cross-departmental teams of 3-5 people, representing areas such as financial aid, enrollment management, institutional research, or other offices key to advancing student success at their institution. Each university team will have time during the summit to develop an action plan they can present to their campuses, outlining a strategy, timeline, deliverables for measuring progress, and clear responsibilities for each person or area for carrying out their institution’s work around student success.

“Through our work as an alliance, we’ve learned what it takes to scale ideas that can affect powerful change: it requires a willingness to share failures, to ask simple questions, and to work in teams that span areas of expertise,” said DeAngela Burns-Wallace, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies at the University of Kansas. “Our goal with the Summit is to share what we’ve learned, in hopes of helping other institutions progress faster.”

“The energy and engagement at UIA convenings is unlike any other in higher education. We have more people from MSU who want to attend – and return – than we can bring. I am thrilled we are finally able to open the doors to other campuses so they can experience the power of this unique style of collaboration,” said Kristen Renn, Professor and Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies for Student Success Research at Michigan State University.

The Summit will be limited to 350 attendees from higher education institutions, and registration will be on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information on how to register or eligibility to attend, please visit the website here:

About the University Innovation Alliance: 
The University Innovation Alliance is a national consortium of eleven large public research universities spanning the geographic, economic and social diversity of our country. Together, we are working to regain America’s economic competitive edge by helping more students graduate with a high-quality and affordable education. We do this by broadening participation in higher education and implementing proven programs that significantly improve graduation rates for all students regardless of socioeconomic background. The 11 members of the Alliance include: Arizona State University, Georgia State University, Iowa State University, Michigan State University, Oregon State University, Purdue University, The Ohio State University, University of California, Riverside, University of Central Florida, University of Kansas, and University of Texas at Austin. For more information, visit Media Contact: Sarah Herring, 202-851-3606,