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Bridget  Burns

Bridget Burns

Executive Director, University Innovation Alliance

Biography

Named one of the “16 Most Innovative People in Higher Education” by Washington Monthly magazine, Dr. Bridget Burns is the founding executive director of the University Innovation Alliance (theUIA.org), the national consortium of public research universities collaborating to close achievement gaps through testing, scaling, and sharing innovative and successful practices. The University Innovation Alliance has been highlighted in national outlets like The New York Times, Fast Company, 60 Minutes, and was featured in the documentary Unlikely. UIA campuses have worked together to achieve massive change for their 400,000 students, including increasing their low-income graduates by 37%, and increasing graduates of color by 73%. Read More >

As a trusted advisor to university presidents and policymakers, Bridget is on a mission to transform the way institutions think about and take action on the behalf of low-income, first generation, and students of color. 

She served on her first presidential hiring committee at age 22, and has spent the past two decades helping to hire, advise, and advocate on behalf of more than 35 presidents and chancellors from around the country. She received her Doctorate of Education from Vanderbilt University in Higher Education, Leadership & Policy. As a side hobby, Burns enjoys dabbling in standup comedy. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Changing the Culture of Higher Education, Together

Redesigning Higher Ed for Student Success | NISTS 2020 Annual Conference

Preparing for Higher Education (Funny Video)

Speech Topics

Transforming the Future of Higher Education Around Student Success

Learn how to drive sustainable innovation from any seat on the org chart while identifying the key changes your institution should make to adapts to the needs of future learners. Read More >

Dr. Bridget Burns will draw upon her extensive experience working across the most innovative universities in higher education, helping you clarify what to focus on, the key questions your institution needs to ask, and the first steps you should take.

This keynote session will not only leave you energized to begin implementing new strategies, it will give you the tools you need to roll up your sleeves and begin the work.

You’ll learn how to: Read Less ^

  • Create the time, space and structure for innovation
  • Sustainably support student centered transformation
  • Start small and scale your efforts to create massive change without overwhelm
  • Surface key questions to support a more innovative culture on your campus

Innovating Higher Education for the New Normal

  • Leveraging proven tactics enable sustainable innovation and progress, (despite burnout and a rapidly changing context.)
  • How higher education can shift and adapt to meet the needs of new majority learners, adult learners, and the students of the future.
  • The key questions institutions should be asking themselves to navigate, survive, and lead in the new normal.
  • Reimagining higher education to meet the needs of future learners in the new normal (flexible, bite sized, and digitally enabled.)

Insights Inspire Innovation: Transforming Higher Education Around Student Success

True innovation involves a combination of building on what works and trying new things. How do you find the right balance and decide which experiments are worth the effort? Using analytics, proactive advising, completion grants, and other innovative strategies, the University Innovation Aliance’s (UIA) 11 campuses have managed to increase their graduates of color by 85% and low income graduates by 46% (on top of already exceeding their public goal to produce 68,000 more graduates by 2025). Read More >

In this keynote you will learn how you can make a similar impact at your school. Dr. Bridget Burns will share her insights into the ways proven tactics enable sustainable innovation and progress as higher education adapts to the needs of future learners. She’ll discuss how to identify areas of focus, ask tough questions, and take the first steps toward progress. This keynote session will not only leave you energized to return to campus and begin implementing new strategies, but will give you the tools you need to roll up your sleeves and begin the work.

You’ll learn how to: Read Less ^

  • Create the time, space and structure for innovation
  • Sustainably support student centered transformation
  • Start small and scale your efforts to create massive change without overwhelm
  • Use process mapping to center students in your systems and design
  • Surface key questions to support a more innovative culture on your campus 
  • Apply analytics and meaningful metrics to drive engagement and measure success

Innovation, Collaboration & Preparing for the Future of Higher Education

Innovating Together

Scaling Innovation

Transforming Higher Education Around Student Success

How Higher Education Can Thrive in the Future of Higher Education