Innovation U.— Getting Great Ideas Out the Door
As president of The University of Texas at Austin, Bill Powers has become a thought leader on the role of the research institution in our rapidly transitioning economy. He rejects the notion that large institutions stifle innovation, and instead embraces the idea that research universities nurture and provide the building blocks for our economic and scientific future. He will make the case for the symbiotic relationship between innovation and higher education and the consequences of undervaluing the research mission.
As president of The University of Texas at Austin, Bill Powers is leading a national movement to transform undergraduate education. During his seven years in office, the nation's fifth-largest university has reformed its curriculum to focus more on critical thinking, writing, ethics, diversity, and global issues and cultures. Powers is overseeing a transformation of large undergraduate courses that dramatically increases the amount of student-teacher interaction through novel educational technology and advances in cognitive science. The results have energized both students and faculty. President Powers also fosters innovation and entrepreneurship by encouraging programs that give students early experience with starting their own companies. A top legal scholar, Navy veteran, and former law dean who still teaches philosophy to freshmen, President Powers was recently elected by his national peers to be the next chair of the Association of American Universities.