The Decline of innovation and what that means to higher education

Written by  //  February 5, 2013  //  Uncategorized  //  No comments

Mary Johnson, a professor in our Department of Aviation Technology,  shared this article about Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner with me.

Although the article describes the problems Boeing is having related to their new 787 Dreamliner aircraft, the main premise of the article is our society becoming risk averse, which stifles innovation. Incrementalism is also criticized in the article as a halfway measure that stifles innovation.

I see some parallels with what we are going through in the College of Technology in transforming our curriculum. Are we going to be curriculum incrementalists or curriculum innovators? It is a real challenge to move far from your comfort zone and consider truly innovative curriculum change. The temptation is to make an incremental change since that is hard enough. However, significant systemic change never occurs incrementally. Innovators take risks that others do not. With risk comes occasional failure, but there is always something to learn from failure as long as it is not catastrophic. We are engaged in curriculum transformation through the many voices of our faculty, staff, students, alumni, and industry. It is this engaged input that will result in innovation and that will propel the college to move from Good to Great.

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