Santa J. Ono

Chapter 3

The Center for Innovation and Growth at Baldwin Wallace University

  • Robert C. HelmerPresident, Baldwin Wallace University

Chapter Overview

Most institutions in higher education rely on a combination of tuition, endowment returns, and generosity of its donors to fund their operations. However, all three revenue streams have become susceptible for a variety of reasons, many outside the control of the universities themselves. Schools that will thrive in the future are those who promote innovation and the growth of alternative revenue streams.

This funding crisis is occurring at the same time that the very premise and promise of higher education are being discussed (and doubted) on nearly a daily basis, from the halls of Congress to the pages of venerable news publications. Simply put, in the current climate the value of a college degree is being called into question from virtually every corner of American society.

In the fall of 2009 Baldwin Wallace developed, built, and opened the Center for Innovation and Growth (CIG) in part to help address the funding challenges that became so vivid in the country's financial difficulties of 2008. Since its conception, the Center for Innovation and Growth at Baldwin Wallace and its associated programming has provided new revenue streams to the BW operational budget, has been instrumental in the marketing of the university to prospective students, and has served as a dynamic force for retention of our undergraduate students. By also assisting in the preparation of our graduates for meaningful careers, the Center has also served as one of many answers to the question of the value of an undergraduate degree in our country today.

In his chapter, Helmer discusses the successes of Baldwin Wallace's Center for Information and Growth (CIG), and how it has contributed to the strength and vitality of the experience of the students.

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