Higher Ed Redesign

MHEC’s Higher Ed Redesign Initiative launched October 11, 2013, when 18 “Design Associates” gathered for the first of three weekend workshops devoted to transforming higher education in Minnesota and the broader region. The initiative is a collaborative effort of the Compact and two academic partners from the University of Minnesota—the College of Design and the Jandris Center for Innovative Higher Education.

The initiative employs “Design Thinking for Social Innovation” by applying principles and practices from the design fields and related creative industries to redesign higher education models, processes, and practices. In Design Thinking for Social Innovation, design tools are used to address complex problems by engaging users of products or services to improve their utility, functionality, and accessibility.

The Design Associates will focus on a specific problem-based challenge during the course of their 9-month commitment. The design challenge for the 2013-14 pilot year is how to utilize open educational resources to:

  1. address achievement gaps and advance equity in higher education participation and outcomes;
  2. reduce cost for students and families; and
  3. improve the overall quality of learning.

The results of the design process, including prototypes for new or revised products, services, or delivery processes, was presented to an audience of policymakers, higher education officials, and other key influences at the MHEC Executive Committee meeting in June of 2014. Ideally, one or more of the prototypes will be adopted and implemented by an institution, system, or policymaking body, with Design Associates assisting as project consultants.

Learn more: Higher Ed Redesign Initiative: Design Thinking for Higher Ed Innovation 3

The initiative partners are seeking external funding in hopes of continuing the initiative beyond the pilot year. Design Associates for the pilot year are emerging-to-established professionals from higher education, the creative industries, and the non-profit sector in the Twin Cities area:

  • Charles “Chip” Altman, Director, MBA Program Military Initiative, Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota
  • Lynnea Atlas-Ingebretson, Program Director, Charities Review Council
  • Paul Bauknight, Owner, The Urban Design Lab   
  • Jean-Paul Bigirindavyi, Associate Director, The Sanneh Foundation
  • Victor Cole, Community Engagement Coordinator & Academic Internships and Study Abroad Advisor, Institute for Community Engagement and Scholarship, Metropolitan State University
  • Natalie Doud, Partner, Synaptic Design
  • Kyle Dukart, Academic Advisor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, College of Science and Engineering, University of Minnesota
  • Meredith Fergus, Policy Analyst, Minnesota Office of Higher Education
  • Wendy Friedmeyer, Assistant to the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Programs, College of Liberal Arts, University of Minnesota
  • Todd Harmening, System Director for Planning, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities
  • Jill Heath, Manager, Corporate Security, Target Corporation
  • Violeta Hernandez, Graduate Student, Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs and Fellow, Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change, University of Minnesota
  • Beth Janetski, Assistant Professor of Theatre, University of Wisconsin-Stout
  • Kate Khaled, Engagement & Development Manager, Charities Review Council
  • Nance Longley, Design and Production Manager, College of Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota
  • Jason McVay, Director of Operations, The Compression Institute
  • Leonard Taylor Jr., Associate Program Director, Housing and Residential Life, University of Minnesota   
  • Pakou Yang, Dean of Social & Behavioral Sciences, Health & Physical Education, Languages, Communication, and Humanities, Century College