Innovation in Higher Education: Leadership and the Role of Technology #CampusTech

Dr. Freeman A. Hrabowski from UMBC

Dr. Freeman A. Hrabowski, President University of Maryland Baltimore County

Opening Keynote


President of The University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Dr. Hrabowski’s research and publications focus on science and math education, with special emphasis on minority participation and performance. He chaired the National Academies’ committee that produced the recent report, Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America’s Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads. He also was recently named by President Obama to chair the newly created President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans. Additionally, he is a Federal 100 Award recipient, one of Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World” and one of “America’s 10 Best College Presidents.”


  • Introducing Dr. Hrabowski was Patrick Gallagher, event director.  This year there are 240 sessions, 8 keynotes, and 150 vendors at the Campus Tech conference.
  • UMBC is a model for innovation.
  • Success is never final, what’s next?
  • Use of technology in redesigning teaching and learning is a focus and UMBC is a model institution.
  • There is so much data around us and what gives the data a story is that context we need to be able to use it effectively.
  • College presidents fought against the veterans act.  They thought it would be the downfall of the academia.
  • Higher Education Act brought more people into college – to educate.  HEA “to strengthen the educational resources of our colleges and universities and to provide financial assistance for students in postsecondary and higher education.”
  • We are leaders and educators and not just technologists.  We do noble work in education and we need to realize that.
  • Other countries are moving ahead of the USA, at one time we were #2 behind Norway and now we are ranked #12.
  • EDUCAUSE – The Top-10 Issues in IT.  Using analytics, partnerships, and faculty are a focus.
  1. Improving student outcomes through an institutional approach that strategically leverages technology
  2. Establishing a partnership between IT leadership and institutional leadership to develop a collective understanding of what information technology can deliver
  3. Assisting faculty with the instructional integration of information technology
  4. Developing an IT staffing and organizational model to accommodate the changing IT environment and facilitate openness and agility
  5. Using analytics to help drive critical institutional outcomes
  6. Changing IT funding models to sustain core service, support innovation, and facilitate growth
  7. Addressing access demand and the wireless and device explosion
  8. Sourcing technologies and services at scale to reduce costs (via cloud, greater centralization of institutional IT services and systems, cross-institutional collaborations, and so forth)
  9. Determining the role of online learning and developing a strategy for that role
  10. Implementing risk management and information security practices to protect institutional IT resources/data and respond to regulatory compliance mandates*
  1. Developing an enterprise IT architecture that can respond to changing conditions and new opportunities*

* Tie

  • A large % of high achievers leave within the first year by changing their majors.  How do we go about changing the expectation and “weeding out” courses? >  Let’s redesign our courses.  We need to be innovative for the sake of completion.
  • Most kids that start out in science don’t make it – let’s change this mindset!
  • We need to build community with students because relationships matter.  We need to connect faculty and students to build retention.  
  • Let’s share more than syllabi between 2 year and 4 year institutions.  Building relationships among professors on a variety of campuses.  We need to have regular meetings across our institutions.
  • How can we change the behavior of students… those that don’t take advice that we give them?  We can bring in mentors and advisors of students that have made it through as these folks are “one of them”.
  • Convince young people of the possibilities.
  • Innovation means building on the faculty/staff/student relationships and trying things!

“Technology needs to be infused in all we do – not as an afterthought.”  

  • Technology is so pervasive and the chief technologist needs to be able to ask good questions, listen carefully, and have the ability to communicate.
  • Use technology to transform the institution as the institution transforms the lives of students.

“Teachers touch eternity through their students.”


“Watch your Thoughts because they become your Words, watch your words because they become your Actions, watch your actions as they become your Habits, watch your habits as they become your Character, and watch your character as this becomes your Destiny…”

Related:  Freeman A. Hrabowski, III – TED Talk “Set high expectations for all students: Freeman Hrabowski at TED2013


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