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The Sixteen Most Innovative People in Higher Education

Last year, we profiled ten college and university presidents who, in our judgment, were doing things differently, and better, than their peers. Instead of using their positions to increase their endowments and recruit a “better” sort of student in order to move their schools up the U.S. News & World Report rankings, these leaders were turning their institutions into laboratories of innovation in a hunt for better ways to deliver higher ed—providing quality degrees at lower cost, getting more students to graduate, and so on. 

But, of course, even the best college presidents, like the most successful company CEOs, aren’t necessarily the ones dreaming up the actual new ideas. Those tend to come from lower down the chain of command—administrators, faculty members, even grad students—or from people outside these institutions, in government, nonprofits, and the private sector.