Innovation Committee Announced

News Story: August 1, 2012

Sacred Heart University has appointed Dr. Stephen Brown, professor of Management in Sacred Heart University’s John F. Welch College of Business, to chair a new Innovation Committee at the University. The committee’s charge is to recommend ways to facilitate innovation across the campus. The committee will examine structure and other barriers to innovation. It will challenge traditions and look for actions that promote innovation in all areas of the university.

Recent studies indicate that universities will need to change if they are going to continue to meet the diverse needs of the student population. A recently released report titled The Financially Sustainable University, by Bain & Company, a top global business consulting firm, and Sterling Partners, a leading private equity investor in global education institutions, suggests that universities need to focus on creating a value from their core as students will not be interested in paying $40,000/year for schools that are undistinguishable from all the others.

The report goes on to identify innovation as one possible differentiator of universities. “There is increasing competition within the higher education sector, including universities that have state support or large endowments. This committee will explore how we can think innovatively about everything we do. We do our students and ourselves a disservice if we remain complacent in today’s economic environment,” Brown said.

The Committee comprises representatives from all five of the University’s colleges. The committee members are Kirk Bartholomew, associate professor and department chair of Biology; Jody Bortone, associate dean and associate professor of Occupational Therapy; James Castonguay, director of the master’s in communication program and associate professor of Communication; Ann Clark, clinical associate professor of Educational Leadership; Michael Emery, assistant dean and professor of Physical Therapy; Andra Gumbus, associate professor of Management; Lois Libby, co-director of the 5th-year Internship Program; and Julianna Stockton, assistant professor of Mathematics.

The committee has already begun to meet and will schedule open discussions with the SHU community to solicit ideas and feedback. “We need to consider different ways of delivering services and think more creatively about what we do with and for our students,” Brown said.