The Most Innovative Universities (according to the US News)

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In spring 2015, U.S. News asked top college officials to identify institutions in their Best Colleges ranking category that are making the most innovative improvements in terms of curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, technology or facilities. I am glad to see most of them are engineering schools! Review the list here.

US Losing R&D Edge (2015 MIT Study)

MIT authors warn government is spending ever-smaller share of budget on basic research. “Though the U.S. leads the world in total R&D outlays, Europe and Asia have been raising their government investment. The Battelle Memorial Institute, a basic-research lab, and R&D Magazine estimated in 2013 that China would spend more than $600 billion annually on R&D by the early 2020s, making it the world’s biggest such investor. The same report estimated that U.S. R&D spending would total $465 billion, or 2.8% of gross domestic product, in 2014. For China, spending was pegged at $284 billion, or 2% of GDP.”

Read the WSJ article here. Download the MIT report hereThe U.S. spent 9.1% of the federal government’s annual budget on R&D in 1968. Today the percentage has shrunk to 3.6%.

When Innovation is NOT Enough (WSJ)

“Being an innovation leader doesn’t arise from  (just) having a national industrial policy. Government does play a catalytic role in funding basic research, but the country (referring to the US) also provides a flexible labor market and skilled workforce, unobtrusive business regulation, strong property rights, efficient capital markets and a large domestic market with many early adopter consumers.”

People, well trained people, are THE fundamental rock for innovation for economic and social well being. Read the full Wall Street Journal article

Colleges Reinvent Classes to Keep More Students in Science

Making classes more interactive and fun… And teaching teachers how to teach. What would take for all of higher education to do this? Read UC Davis’s approach in this NY Times article here. At UPRM we’ve been doing this for years – no wonder so many companies come to recruit our graduates.

How China is Trying to Reverse its Brain Drain

This The Economist article describes efforts by Chinese government and universities to recruit and retain top notched nationals and foreigners into their talent pool as well as develop incentives and infrastructure (like this building at Tsinghua University). For economic development simple and straightforward. Impressive how this country identifies key challenges and addresses them.

Together with a group of colleagues/experts, I in some way have been contributing to this transformation the last 4 years through workshops and seminars on engineering curriculum innovation at Tsinghua University with deans, rectors and faculty from over 100 colleges of engineering. For more information on what we do, please go to or drop me an email (

Incentivizing Hi Ed Innovations

This CHE article discusses how resources (money, time, others) and leadership support encourage change in the classroom through examples at Harvard and U of Michigan. Sharing of results and changing the incentive structure to recognize and reward teaching are also a must.

The same thing happened at the University of Puerto Rico system some years ago, when I led the Curriculum Innovation Center that provided small grants to SMET faculty to explore and document their innovations in the classroom.

Download article – How Big Money Can Encourage Calculated Risks in the Classroom – The Chronicle of Higher Education

Launching INNOVAHiEd!

Screenshot 2014-11-24 18.48.38It is with lots of excitement and enthusiasm that I share these news with all of you! After a long career in academia and industry, and in partnership with IIDEA@IFEES and LASPAU@HarvardUniversity, I have decided to dedicate my time and energy to help institutions walk the path of continuous innovation through InnovaHiEd

Who We Are – a group of individuals who have dedicated their lives to improving higher education, especially, engineering education, many of whom are world known educators with prestigious awards and recognitions. They have transformed themselves, their institutions and higher education – and are making themselves available to help others through similar transformations.

What We Do – Our world-class award winning team can help your institution 1) assess your needs, 2) together with you, help develop your plans to address those needs, and 3) accompany you through your implementation phases, through:

  • High value meetings/brainstorming sessions
  • Focused seminars and workshops
  • Individual and group consulting/mentoring
  • Efficacious and agile follow-through via email and conference calls

We offer Mentoring & Consulting in Engineering Education Strategic Areas, including

  • Strategic Planning
  • Competency-based Curriculum Design
  • Program and Learning Outcomes Assessment
  • Learning & Teaching Environments
  • Industry-University Partnerships
  • Planning for the Research Endeavor
  • Technology for Learning
  • ABET Accreditation

Please visit our website, email us and download our brochure | | | InnovaHiEd Brochure -2 Nov 2014 |InnovaHiEd 1 page flyer Nov 2014


Helping catalyze innovation in higher education