Technology-Enhanced Education at Public Flagship Universities Opportunities and Challenges
Public research universities are under great pressure to increase access, lower costs, and improve instruction, even as they face diminishing financial support from the states they serve. Against this backdrop, Ithaka S+R, with funding from Lumina Foundation, undertook a study of ten institutions in the Public Flagships Network (PFN). Over the course of the 2013/2014 academic year, Ithaka S+R interviewed 214 individuals, ranging from presidents and provosts to key administrative officers and staff, to department chairs and faculty. Members of PFN are keenly aware of the changes taking place in higher education, and they are committed to leading the transformation. To that end, PFN encouraged this study to better understand the current environment. Our findings show that administrators are hoping to harness the power of technology-enhanced education to improve time-to-degree and completion rates, provide relief for space constraints, improve student learning, and fulfill their institution’s outreach mission.