Posts Tagged ‘Chancellor Kenyon Chan’

Missed the Closing Innovation Forum Summit: Reinventing the University?

March 21, 2012 Comments off

Watch it here!

Read the recap here.


Missed the Opening Forum Event, “Fostering Innovation in Organizations”?

March 15, 2012 Comments off

Watch it here!


Click to read Dr. Woods reflections on this Opening Event.

Innovation Forum Recaps:Closing Summit-Reinventing the University

March 14, 2012 Comments off

Closing Summit: Reinventing the University

Written by Laura Mansfield

The finale of the 2012 Innovation Forum included a distinguished panel representing thought leaders from academia and industry.

Panelists were:
UW President Michael Young.
Dr. Fariba Alamdari, Vice President of Marketing and Value Analysis for Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
Dr. Anoop Gupta, Distinguished Scientist for Microsoft Research. Gupta also serves on the UW Bothell Advisory Board.
Dr. J Rogers Hollingsworth, Professor Emeritus of Sociology and History at the University of Wisconsin.

UW Bothell Chancellor Kenyon Chan opened the evening by recognizing the success of UW Bothell’s inaugural Innovation Forum.  “This event demonstrates that the University of Washington Bothell is a hotbed of innovation and creativity,” he said.

President Young: Reimagine higher education

In his opening remarks, President Young remarked that it had been an “extraordinary” week at UW Bothell.  “This week has been a reflection of what I have sensed about this campus. There is a spirit of imagination and innovation that is healthy and thriving. That spirit has never been more important than now. It is imperative that we reimagine higher education.”

Young reflected on the role of the University of Washington to society. “We do extraordinary things at this university. We receive the second-most intramural funding in the United States.  We constantly strive to translate our work into things into what will make people’s lives better.”

“We have a capacity to organize ourselves around a simple but profound concept: the notion that a great university thinks about ideas and moving those ideas into the world in a way they have impact.”

Young called for an auditing of higher education. “We examine everything but ourselves,” he observed. “Technology has transformed everything that makes this kind of transformation needed.  Students are different, but we haven’t transformed our thinking in instruction to respond.”

“We have a “Bismarckian” notion of what a university should like look like,” he said. “Knowledge is created on the edge of disciplines. There is a tremendous need for people who work across boundaries and look at the grand challenges.”

Dr. J Rogers Hollingsworth: The ‘Global University’ could be here

“We currently think of the modern university in terms of local and global. We need more longitudinal thinking,” he said. “Where did we come from and where are we going?”

The pace of change in the university is accelerating, Hollingsworth noted. “Fifty years from now, universities will be very different than they are today.”  By 2050, Hollingsworth envisions a global university, in which faculty will be recruited from all over the globe and engaged in a narrow range of research.

“My fantasy university is relatively small and engaged in rich interaction,” he said. “It has relatively few faculty, but they are teaching tens of thousands of students. In my model university, the faculty changes every five to 10 years. This ensures a constant change of ideas.”  Hollingsworth noted that such models are already in place, citing the Howard Hughes Research Institute and the European University Institute.

Hollingsworth says UW Bothell is at a turning point.  “I think this campus has enormous potential,” he says.  “This is a wonderful environment in which to live.  I walked around the campus today and found some land … the global university could be located right here.”

Dr. Fariba Alamdari:  “If everybody thinks the same, no one is thinking”

Alamdari noted the strong relationship between the university and the economy, calling for greater investment in research and development.  “The U.S. is not at the top of list in terms of quality in math and engineering,” she said. “This is so important for global economic growth. We have to help universities achieve high education and research. How can we do that?”

Alamdari, who worked for more than 25 years in academia, says her dream is to “go back to the basics.” Universities have moved towards processes and layers at the expense of basic skills, she said. “People cannot write, cannot communicate, and they worry when you show them math. We have to make sure no one leaves the university without these basic skills.”

Turning to the notion of innovation, Alamdari said real innovation comes about through diversity of thought. “We all talk about diversity, but we have to concentrate on diversity of thought. We need people who think differently. We like like-minded people, but that doesn’t aid innovation,” she said. “If everybody thinks the same, no one is thinking”

Dr. Anoop Gupta: Scale changes everything

Technology has transformed all aspects of education, but the university has not changed in fundamental ways, he said.  He speculates great change on the horizon with the growing adaptation of online education.  “Scale changes everything,” he says.  “Now we have institutions offering courses with tens of thousands of students,” he said, noting Berkeley, Stanford, MITx and the Khan Academy as examples.

“There is lots of evidence that the traditional lecture model is not a great model of learning, he says.  “Today we have embedded quizzes, electronic textbooks, and social tools that permit us to scale large but allow us to assemble in small communities. ”  Gupta said technology provides a great opportunity to meet the needs of many people who cannot access education through traditional methods.

Photos from “Fostering Innovations in Organizations”

February 29, 2012 Comments off


Pictured: Chancellor Kenyon Chan, Professor Alan Wood, Richard Shea, Lou Gray, and Deborah Wilds

Innovation Forum Highlights: Fostering Innovation in Organizations

February 10, 2012 Comments off

I am writing to invite you to the kickoff panel for the Innovation Forum at 9:30 Monday morning.  Chancellor Chan will introduce the session, which will include Richard Shea, President, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Olympus Respiratory America, Lou Gray, entrepreneur and CEO, and Deborah Wilds, President and CEO of College Success Foundation.  I will moderate.

I thought I might provide some background thoughts on the issues that prompted the focus of this panel for those of you who are interested in attending.  As some of you know from my previous ruminations on the mission and identity of this campus, I tend to see the world through the lens of paradox, and nothing could capture the essence of paradox better than the relationship between innovation and bureaucracy.  The first great scholar of bureaucracy, Max Weber, observed a long time ago that bureaucracy itself is not a bad thing (in spite of our visceral dislike of it).  It is necessary to do complex tasks and to preserve knowledge.  In stable times, doing routine tasks, it accomplishes miracles of organization.  But it also has drawbacks.  Because of its commitment to process (normally a good thing), bureaucracy is slow to respond creatively to rapid change and to emergencies.  Its success in promoting stability becomes a failure in promoting innovation.  Innovation requires risk, and risk requires a high tolerance for failure.  But bureaucracies have a low tolerance for failure—the bigger the bureaucracy, the lower the tolerance.  In other words, the very qualities it needs to run properly during times of stability are opposed to the qualities it needs to run properly during times of rapid change.

So what does that mean for us?  Are we in a time of stability or change?  Most folks would probably opt for the latter.  In the 21 years since the University of Washington Bothell campus was founded, there have been (at least) three major changes in the larger environment that surrounds the university.  First, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the rise of globalization have transformed the world economy and given birth to a global commons.  Second, the advent of the Internet, advances in computer technology, and the proliferation of mobile phone technology have revolutionized human communication and learning.  Third, the social contract between American society and the academy has eroded to the point that education is no longer seen as a public good but a private benefit, undermining the long-standing commitment of the American republic to its once-fundamental faith in equality of opportunity through education.  Increasingly, the best universities in the United States are private and expensive (and now, increasingly, public and expensive).  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to conclude that this trend is not a terrifically good thing.  Can we do anything about it?  I think so.  At UWB, we have the opportunity, with leadership and with the support of the community that surrounds us, to innovate on a grand scale.  Because we are new, small, and growing rapidly, we just might be able to create a new model of higher education based on a public-private partnership that enhances learning while reducing costs to students.  I don’t know yet what that might look like, but I do know that we cannot do it alone.  We need all the help we can get.

Hence this panel, the members of which have a good deal of experience in large K-12 education organizations, non-profits, start-up companies, and Fortune-500 companies.   All these organizations employ varying levels of bureaucracy.  And yet these individuals have all been successful in fostering innovation.  So I asked them to think about two questions:  What strategies have they found to be successful in getting their organizations to innovate, given all the pressures that act against innovation?  And are any of those strategies applicable to the present predicament of higher education?  To be sure, universities are unique entities in their mission and their function.  Nevertheless, there still might be some principles that apply to all human organizations, regardless of time and place.  So join us and explore this rich terrain of new possibilities!

Join Us!

January 26, 2012 Comments off

Join us for the 2012 UW Bothell Innovation Forum.  This year’s week –long event features over twenty individual panels, programs and activities that highlight innovation and creativity in higher education, the arts, medical research, and beyond.  The goal of the event is to bring together the University and the larger community to dialogue about the meaning of innovation in all facets of life.  All events are FREE and open to the general public.


The event kicks off Monday, February 13 at 9:30 a.m. with a welcome and panel discussion by distinguished leaders, “Fostering Innovation in Organizations.”  The week of activities conclude Thursday, February 16 with a closing summit titled” Reinventing the University”.  This event will feature UW President Michael K. Young, Prof. J. Rogers Hollingsworth, Dr. Anoop Gupta and Dr. Fariba Alamdari.  There are numerous other events featuring the leading experts on topics in global health, theater, bio ethics, k-12 education and much more… please check out the full schedule of events to see all of the programs and additional details.