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Rethinking Higher Education Business Models

Stemming from a January convening of CIOs, other higher education thought leaders, and business process experts co-hosted by the Center for American Progress (CAP) and EDUCAUSE, the organizations have jointly released a white paper by Robert Sheets (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), Stephen Crawford (George Washington University), and Louis Soares (CAP) highlighting the potential of technology to advance the evolution of higher education, "Rethinking Higher Education Business Models." A companion piece to the paper written by Greg Jackson, EDUCAUSE vice president for policy and analysis, entitled "IT-Based Transformation in Higher Education: Possibilities and Prospects," this brief explores the concept of "disruptive innovation" in relation to higher education's current organizing structures, highlighting how technology might alter higher education business models to enable significant progress in access, affordabililty, learning outcomes, and research effectiveness. It also reviews the ways in which federal policy might contribute to better understanding the possibilities and pitfalls in this area.