National Council of Instructional Administrators


Date of this Version


Document Type



INSTRUCTIONAL LEADERSHIP ABSTRACTS, Volume 11, Issue 3, November, 2019


Published by the National Council of Instructional Administrators (NCIA)


Every college has pockets of innovative faculty who are resourceful and skilled problem solvers. They come to you with solutions instead of complaints and when they leave your office you wish you could clone them. These faculty are your innovators. Academic innovation is currently getting a lot of attention. It is a concept that is trendy, as well as murky. What do we mean when we talk about innovation? In early 2018, a survey of academic administrators framed innovation as a tool for solving problems and driving overall improvement. When asked how to support innovation, Chief Academic Officers (CAOs) reported that it requires synergy between top-down and bottom-up approaches, supportive structures to channel the work, and faculty who are empowered and have a voice in shaping initiatives. At Northern Essex Community College in Massachusetts, academic innovation has most recently focused on competency- based education (CBE) and open educational resources (OER).