The IAUP and Microsoft realize the significant changes happening in higher education around the world.  Driven in part by the current economic situation, globalization of education, the consumerization of IT, and “digital natives” as the majority student body, universities are experiencing profound challenges related to financing, changes in pedagogy, and the pressure to link outcomes to local economic drivers.

As in the rest of the modern economy, many universities are turning to  technology to help them with their key work loads of teaching, research and administration.  But given their special missions, they are not able to wholesale adopt commercial technologies to their environment.

To address these needs, the IAUP and Microsoft have partnered to provide “Academic Summits” where we and our partners address the problems or opportunities top of mind for senior campus leaders.  We accomplish this by having sessions with three components.  First, we open with a university presenting the issue and the business case.  Second, we or a partner presents how technology was applied as a solution.  Third, we have round table discussions among the attendees in order to engage with them on actions steps to apply the solutions to their own campus.

The IAUP has commissioned a standing task force to assist with the planning and deployment of Academic Summits.   Based on the advice of the task force at the Triennial meeting in NYC, Microsoft conducted Academic Summits in five locations around the world in the previous calendar year (see below). IAUP President, Dr. Neal King, has keynoted at the Washington, D.C. and Redmond, WA (March 8 & 9, 2012) meetings.

The Academic Summits are co-hosted by Microsoft, IAUP and a local university. IAUP welcome the input from the Academic Task Force, as well as the general IAUP membership, where they should be conducted in the future.  In addition, suggestions for a program agenda specifically tailored to University Presidents are welcomed.