The FutureX Podcast

The FutureX Podcast

As Higher Education enters a phase of existential innovation, the partners at Beyond Academics host internal discussions, expert interviews, and crowdsourced insight sessions to help guide leaders in the journey. Learn more at


September 21, 2022 19 mins

Whether enrollment is the hot topic on campus, or it’s about increasing revenues through non credit learners, brand matters. 

For decades, higher ed has been able to live off students knocking on (and often breaking down) the door. 

But the new constituents - especially the lifelong learner has numerous options to choose from, and marketing becomes a mission-critical area of excellence at each institution. 

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Historically the IT department in Iran has sat in the back taking orders from every other department on what needs to be ordered, what needs to be fixed, and what strategy to implement. That is a broken approach that will not lead to a sustainable future. In this episode the beyond partners discuss why that’s the case. 

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August 9, 2022 24 mins

Why this transformation is so important and urgent:

  1. The great resignation is taking its toll on all industries, but higher ed’s talent pool is not as deep as most. We’re not in the tech or sports entertainment lanes - where there is an abundance of talent pouring in. Every person we lose to another industry is an exponential loss. 
  2. No matter how good a school’s technology strategy, enrollment strategy, brand, or location is, if w...
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Chancellor Gonzalez (1/4)

Necessity is the mother of invention. When resources are limited, schools like Maricopa County Community College have started to look elsewhere for not only funding. But this was not only a financial necessity, it was also an opportunity for the school to partner with industries that could set their students up for success after graduation. Listen in as Chancellor Steven Gonzalez talks about this ...

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Doing something different takes unconventional thinking and bold ideas. But how do these qualities meld with the ideas of courage and confidence? Those who believe they can get by on courage alone may be misleading themselves in that they know they’re not taking the right path. This can translate into students who go through college, and complete their courses to the best of their abilities, but still feel lost while entering the w...

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President Santa Ono (4/4)

As the prices of tuition in domestic universities rise, many face the challenge of being priced out of higher education. But there may be hope beyond their country’s borders. The emerging student — specifically international students — may begin looking very different than just another affluent student seeking to learn abroad. 

In this episode of the Changemaker series, President Santa Ono of the U...

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Chancellor Ben Nelson (1/4)

If the goal of Higher Ed is to prepare its students to make a positive global impact, we cannot do so by cutting off our universities from the rest of the world.

In this episode of the Changemakers series, Chancellor Ben Nelson of Minerva University discusses the importance of inclusivity and diversity in higher education.


Chancellor Ben Nelson is the founder of Minerva with ...

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President Mark Lombardi (4/4)

Is your organization more afraid of success than it is of failure?

Executing on innovation in higher education requires finesse, knowledge, and intense drive. But above all, it demands courage. 

In this episode of the Changemakers series, President Mark Lombardi of Maryville University concludes his guest appearance with a discussion around the courage to fail and the importa...

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Chancellor Nelson (2/4)

In this episode of the Changemakers series, Chancellor of Minerva University, Ben Nelson, discusses the university's manifesto and how it directly relates to the value of the education they provide to not only their students but also to the people those students will eventually lead and serve.

Minerva's manifesto is made up of four core values: critical wisdom, amplified potential...

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President Santa Ono (3/4)

The value of a traditional college degree has come heavily under fire. It is a raging debate, not only in America but around the world. Affordability is at the center of this discussion as enrollment declines and alternative credentialing models emerge. This all raises the question: What is the value of a degree?

According to President Santa Ono of the University of British Columbia, ther...

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Chancellor Ben Nelson (1/4)

How much has your education really taught you?

When a student’s education, and their degree earned thereafter, is more aesthetic than applicatory to the jobs they will enter into, the negative implications go far beyond just the individual. Society suffers from the uneducated, or rather the miseducated. The systems in place must change. That’s where Minerva University comes in.

In this episode of the Future...

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President Mark Lombardi (3/4)

Faculty consensus is about focusing on the end goal, not the problems that may arise. It is about empowering faculty to shape the process and deliver. When you do that, people are no longer wary of innovation—they’re excited for it.

In episode 5 of the Changemaker series, listen as President Mark Lombardi of Maryville University speaks about how he implemented a 1-to-1 iPad plan ahead of schedu...

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President Santa Ono (2/4)

Institutions that put themselves on an island where they are isolated from government and industry cannot survive. Collaboration and cooperation is the key to a more valuable education for both students and the companies they work for.

So, how do higher education institutions align with the demands of the workforce? In this episode of the Changemakers series, we’re back with President Ono of the Un...

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President Mark Lombardi (2/4)

Ivy League fans beware—this episode is not for you.

The high tuition rates, selectivity, and exclusivity of Ivy League schools and other "brand name" institutions are inherently elitist, leading to the exclusion of students from underserved and underrepresented communities. These traditional values are irrelevant to the quality of education and only contribute to the continuation of classism, r...

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President Mark Lombardi (1/4)

President Mark Lombardi of Maryville University asks some disruptive questions in this episode of Changemakers. He talks about the dangers of consensus-driven change and warns institutions driven by tradition that they may not survive in the 21st century if they refuse to adapt.


Dr. Mark Lombardi has served as president of Maryville University since 2007. In that time, Mar...

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President Santa Ono (1/4)

In the first-ever episode of the FutureX Changemakers series, President Santa Ono of the University of British Columbia talks about the importance of truth and reconciliation when it comes to the injustices endured by indigenous people during colonization, not only in Canada and the US but also across the world. Located on Musqueam land, the campus does what it can to honor that history with an in...

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September 9, 2021 1 min
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Michael Russell, President of Higher Ed User Group and CIO at Virginia Community College System joins us for an visionary conversation about the future of campus technology, the future of work on campus, and the future of community in higher education. 

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  • What Higher Ed’s role is in preparing students for the future of work?
  • What does the future of learning look like?
  • What role does an entrepreneurial mindset play in Higher Ed?
  • How does the word “consensus” fit into times of existential change?

These are just a few of the discussion points in this episode as Joe gets a refreshing perspective from one of the most innovative leaders in higher education, Dr. Paul J. LeBlanc, Presi...

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  • What's keeping Presidents and senior leaders of higher education institutions up at night these days?
  • Is it any different now than before the pandemic hit?
  • What should leaders in Higher Ed be considering in times of existential change?

These are just a few of the questions we cover in this segment with the CEO of The League For Innovation In The Community College Dr. Rufus Glasper. Dr. Glasper also shares insight into wh...

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