Creating & Sustaining Industry Partnerships

Concurrent Session 2
Streamed Session Best in Strand

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Session Materials

Brief Abstract

In 2015 Clemson University and American International Group (AIG) established a multi-million-dollar partnership to advance research and provide graduate-level education for working professionals. This session will explore a model for creating such partnerships. Strategies for sustaining those partnerships will be shared based on research and presenter’s experience. 

Extended Abstract

Session Outcomes:

Participants will be introduced to a minimum 4 tested-strategies to sustain industry partnerships.

Participants will be give an overview of existing successful industry-academia partnerships along with relevant research and literature.

Introduction (10 mins):

  • Presenter will introduce themselves and their role in creating and sustaining partnerships.
  • Participants will then be engage in a series of questions to collect information on audience demographics (functional areas, experience, roles, etc.). This information will be used to shape and direct the delivery and discussion around the topic.
  • An overview of the partnership between Clemson University and American International Group (AIG) will be given. This partnership resulted in the creation of an innovative and dynamic research and data analytic center, The Center for Risk Engineering and System Analytics (RESA). A brief overview of the functions of this center will be given with an emphasis on graduate education branch of the center.

Sustaining Strategies (15 mins):

  • After a year of partnership together Clemson and AIG have learned many lesson is how to effectively communicate and grow their partnership. A minimum of 4 effective strategies will be introduced with an emphasis on the adaptability of these strategies for other partnerships and programs.
  • Strategy 1- Assessment
    • To ensure that course delivery and content design meets the needs of our unique targeted student group (international, mobile, multi-disciplinary, working professionals) we conducted a survey of current and prospective students. This survey focused on how students interacted with faculty, students, and content. Sample questions and takeaways from this survey will be shared.
  • Strategy 2- Academic Advisory Board:
    • An advisory board was formed to guide the development of proposed certificate and graduate degree programs. This board comprised of two branches: Clemson and AIG. Within the Clemson branch representatives from both faculty, staff, and administration met. Within AIG members from across their cooperation gathered including legal, professional development, various research areas, and representatives of the partnership.
  • Strategy 3- Enterprise Faculty:
    • To ensure that course content, theory, and application were relevant to students professionals from within AIG serve as guest lectures within courses. Filling in knowledge gaps with our faculty-team and providing meaningful application for students enrolled in contract courses. This strategy ensures industry involvement with each course and guarantees that course content meets industry needs.
    • A model to recruit similar instructors in both a paid and volunteer basis will be introduced.
  • Strategy 4- Steering Committee Meetings & Partnership Updates
    • To remain in close contact with our industry partners a steering committee was established consisting off the key stakeholders and staff involved in the partnership. This group meets on a quarterly basis to provide updates on the many functions of the center and generate strategies for growth and development.
    • Bi-weekly Partnership Updates are virtual meetings that are held by staff members on the ground level of the partnership. This hour long meeting serves as an opportunity to provide updates and identify solutions for existing concerns.
    • Special retreats are periodically held to bring together our team. These retreats usually take the form of research symposiums, ribbon cutting ceremonies, and social gatherings.

Overview of Partnerships (10 mins):

  • Partnerships between industry and academia exist at many levels, from technical colleges to post-graduate education. The historical relationship between academia and industry will be demonstrated in graphic timeline which will include the evolution of the trade industry, growth of higher education, privatization of higher education, and projections into the future.
  • Recent successes in industry-academia partnerships will be reviewed including successes by:
    • IBMs partnership with over 20 Universities
    • Starbucks and Arizona State University
    • North Carolina State University’s Millennium Campus
    • Rolls-Royce with over 30 universities
  • Recent literature and articles detailing new and evolving partnerships will be introduced to participants for further reading and research.

Discussion (10 mins):

  • Participants will be engaged in a discussion around their own experiences or aspirations for partnering with industry or academia.