University Innovation Alliance

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About the University Innovation Alliance
UIA Summit 2018: The Future of Higher Ed Conferences

Founded in 2014, the University Innovation Alliance is a coalition of eleven public research universities spanning the geographic, economic and social diversity of our country. We are committed to making quality college degrees accessible to a diverse body of students and consider this commitment a defining element of our public mission.

Because UIA member institutions serve large numbers of first generation, low-income students, we are at the forefront of America's efforts to regain its educational edge and increase economic opportunity and mobility. Many of our universities have been recognized for aggressively driving innovations to serve more students with quality programs at sustainable cost. Now, we are going to work together to leverage our strengths and maximize our impact.


Ohio State joins new effort to close gap between higher education and work

The Ohio State University is joining a national group of leading, innovative institutions that are redesigning the college-to-career pathway. The work is supported, in part, by $2.4 million from the Strada Education Network.

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Ohio State leadership to attend UIA summit on student success and campus transformation

Leadership from Ohio State will participate in the University Innovation Alliance's first National Summit for Student Success Innovation and Campus Transformation in April 2018.

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Inside Higher Ed: UIA impacts low-income student success

The 11 universities of the University Innovation Alliance released new data on Thursday showing a 24.7 percent increase in the number of their low-income graduates in the past three years.

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Member Institutions

Arizona State University

University of California - Riverside

University of Central Florida

Georgia State University

Iowa State University

University of Kansas

Michigan State University

The Ohio State University

Oregon State University

Purdue University

University of Texas at Austin

Ohio State is proud to be part of a national partnership of universities working to bring the American Dream within reach of even more students.

President Michael V. Drake, MD

2020 Vision

Access, Affordability and Excellence

Ohio State is committed to ensuring that our students receive a high quality, affordable college degree. In partnership with the UIA, we are investing in predictive analytics, academic advising, financial aid, and teaching.

Community Engagement

Along with federal, state and community partners, Ohio State will implement collective strategies that elevate all members of society—such as a program for early childhood educators to obtain a bachelor's degree for free.

Diversity and Inclusion

Guided by an inclusive excellence framework, Ohio State and the UIA are committed to broadening access and success in college to all students, regardless of background.

Campus Goals

As a member of the UIA, Ohio State has renewed its commitment to boosting college completion rates while maintaining or enhancing educational quality. Through this partnership, Ohio State is working with national peers to develop an innovative playbook to retain and graduate more students, particularly low-income and first generation students.


Demonstrate the power of meaningful collaboration internally and beyond the university to encourage, increase and sustain student success and graduation.


Decrease the difference in graduation rates of low-income, first generation, and other historically marginalized and underrepresented student populations and the university average.

Regional Campuses

Provide additional attention to the success of Ohio State students who begin at our regional campuses.

Student Success

Adapt proven strategies for increasing student success from UIA partner institutions.

Current Projects

Bridging the Gap from Education to Employment (BGEE), a collaboration between seven of the UIA’s 11 institutions, is funded by Strada Education Network. Over three year grant period, BGEE will leverage the expertise of UIA institutions and business leaders to: (a) reimagine how graduates communicate marketable job skills; (b) capture best practices for building and maintaining strategic University-employer partnerships; and (c) enhance campus career services to meet the unique needs of all students. This project’s executive sponsors are Dr. Javaune Adams-Gaston (Student Life), Julie Carpenter-Hubin (Institutional Research and Planning) and Dr. Beth Hume (Undergraduate Education).

For more information about this “College to Career” project, contact the UIA team at

Based on retention grants in use at several member institutions, the UIA has developed a grants program to provide assistance to students who are approaching graduation but face financial hurdles restricting their ability to enroll, persist, and subsequently complete their degree. Through the support of UIA funders, Ohio State began offering Buckeyes Finish Strong Completion Grants in Autumn 2017 to students within two semesters of graduation, who have small balances on their accounts and meet several other criteria. For more information about the Buckeyes Finish Strong Completion grants, contact the UIA team at

The UIA's study, "Monitoring Academic Analytics to Promote Student Success" (MAAPS), seeks to validate the effectiveness of proactive advising in increasing retention, progression, and graduation rates for low-income and first generation university students.

Funded by the U.S. Department of Education's First in the World (FITW) Grant Competition, MAAPS is a randomized control trial providing the treatment group with enhanced advising interventions in addition to the university's normal advising services. The control group continues to receive the university's normal advising services. Given the design of the study, results have the promise to influence U.S. higher education to adopt more intentional and proactive advising strategies that increase student's likelihood of timely degree completion.

Update: Proactive advising intervention has ended. Please direct questions to

OnCourse is Ohio State's Student Success Platform designed to provide more information, more readily to various campus constituencies to support undergraduate student success.

Powered by EAB's Student Success Collaborative Campus platform, OnCourse provides academic advisors with a dashboard of information about students' current progress to degree, as well as a centralized communication, scheduling, and documentation system to support academic advising, tutoring and other support services.

Contact with any questions.

UIA institutions are working collaboratively to learn more about the implementation of chatbot technology on their campuses. Chatbots allow institutions to respond immediately to students’ most frequently asked questions, helping them navigate the university and freeing staff to assist students with more complex inquiries. At Ohio State, we are in the process of creating a custom, in-house chatbot designed to assist students with questions related to admissions, fee payments, registration, and housing. The work began with experts in Buckeye Link, the University Registrar, and University Housing, and we are continuously adding and refining content and exploring additional areas where a chatbot might be useful to improving the student experience.

Ohio State's UIA Team

Assistant Vice Provost for Student Academic Success

David Graham

Director, Michael V. Drake Institute for Teaching and Learning
Associate Professor of English

Kay Halasek

Associate Dean, Ohio State Mansfield

Dawn M. Kitchen

Executive Director, Center for the Study of Student Life

Anne McDaniel

Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer

James L. Moore, III

University Innovation Alliance Fellow

Kaity Prieto


Associate Professor, Department of Educational Studies

Anika Anthony

Talent and Career Services Consultant, Corporate Engagement Office

Julia Beckner

Employer Relations and Internship Director, Buckeye Careers

Jennifer Chilman

UIA Fellow, Purdue University

Beth Elmore

Program Manager, Peer Access Line (PAL), Student Wellness Center, Buckeyes First

Ivory Levert

University Innovation Alliance Fellow

Kaity Prieto

Director, Career Counseling and Support Services

Chris Rideout

Learning and Development Consultant, Office of Student Life Human Resources

Tessa Smith

Director, Career Services

Amy Thaci

Director and Project Lead, Buckeye Careers

Nancy Thompson

Manager of Recruiter Relations and Technology, Office of Career Management

Mark Wilson


Director of Outreach and Recruitment, Undergraduate Admissions

Mark Cortez

Associate Dean of Students and Senior Director, Student Life

Matt Couch

Assistant Director, Buckeye Link

Kristy Gardner

Assistant Vice Provost, Student Academic Success

David Graham

Director of STEP Operations and Housing Administration

Toni Greenslade-Smith

Director of Application Development, OCIO

Ben Hancock

Executive Director, OSAS Marketing and Strategic Communications

Beth McGuffey

Executive Director, Buckeye Link

Kara Miller

Associate Director, Student Financial Aid

Vicki Miller

Program Coordinator, University Registrar

Alex Poland

Assistant Director, University Innovation Alliance

Tiffany Polite

University Innovation Alliance Fellow

Kaity Prieto

Executive Director, The Young Scholars Program

Chila Thomas

Senior Solutions Analyst, OCIO

Andrew Warner

Assistant Director, Undergraduate Admissions

Sierra Zwilling

Our Partners

Ascendium Education Group

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Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

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Carnegie Corporation of New York

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ECMC Foundation

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Ford Foundation

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Kresge Foundation

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Lumina Foundation

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Markle Foundation

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Michael and Susan Dell Foundation

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Strada Education Network

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