chief innovation officer

Why your institution should have a Chief Innovation Officer in 2018


The emergence of the chief innovation officer position is spreading across institutions, and is being spurred by various changes in higher education.

Most higher-ed institutions recognize the importance of innovation, but few universities have taken steps to create roles for chief innovation officers, who focus on reaping revenues from innovation, according to new research.

Though most research universities have a technology transfer office (TTO) that helps bring new discoveries to market, a dedicated innovation officer is not as common–but that’s changing, according to The Emergence of the Chief Innovation Officer in Higher Education, a new report from Russell Reynolds Associates.

But the emergence of the chief innovation officer position is spurred by various changes in higher education. As government funding declines, as nontraditional education opportunities increase, and as educators focus on how students learn best and turn to new learning experiences, some universities are rethinking how they position their institutions.

(Next page: What does a chief innovation officer position look like?)

Laura Ascione