Bridget Burns


For the past decade, Bridget Burns has advised university presidents, system chancellors, and state and federal policy leaders on strategies to expand access to higher education, address costs, and promote completion for students of all backgrounds. Named one of the “16 Most Innovative People in Higher Education” by Washington Monthly, as the founding Executive Director of the University Innovation Alliance, Bridget leads a national consortium of large public research universities collaborating to improve outcomes for all students through innovation, scale, and diffusion of best practices.

She previously served as an American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow at Arizona State University, Chief of Staff and Senior Policy Advisor for the Oregon University System, and National Associate for the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education. She was the recipient of the national award for innovation in higher education government relations in 2012, and has served on various statewide governing boards including the Oregon State Board of Higher Education, Student Assistance Commission, Commission for Children and Families, and the Public Commission on the Oregon Legislature.

EDUCAUSE Publications

  • We Need to Stop Giving Campus Leaders the Wrong Advice
    • Article
    • Author

    While much of the current conversation in higher education is focused toward what college and university presidents need to do differently to prepare for the future, there is not nearly enough focus on the value system imposed upon them or on how the rest of us in higher education can help them to be successful.

  • Innovating Together: Collaboration as a Driving Force to Improve Student Success
    • Article
    • Author

    Competition discourages collaboration. The competitive environment of higher education—with institutions in a virtual race for faculty, students, and research funds—works against collaboration. This competition, though healthy, can impede institutions' ability to achieve collective impact, diffuse innovation, and drive needed changes in higher education.

EDUCAUSE Presentations