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The challenge of self-renewal in the innovative college

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Any successful innovation creates a body of practice, policy, lore and belief that becomes harder to change the longer it survives. Indeed, it could not endure without a record of what worked and why. Thus the history of an innovation tends to define its future; what once was new tends over time to be defined by its tradition, hence to become rigid. The consequences of this paradox can be calamitous. Using case studies to illustrate, the essay outlines a conceptual model for institutional self-assessment of its innovative health and recommends strategies for keeping the innovative spirit alive.

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Dr. Douglas B. Johnstone, Ph.D., has been Dean of Empire State College's North Central Regional Center since 1979; he has also been responsible for the College's Center for Distance Learning since 1981, and in 1988 he served as Acting Vice President for Policy and Planning. His scholarly interests include both nontraditional education and literature, especially the novel.

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Johnstone, D.B. The challenge of self-renewal in the innovative college. Innov High Educ 14, 107–122 (1990). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00889612

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  • Social Psychology
  • Conceptual Model
  • Cross Cultural Psychology
  • Successful Innovation
  • Innovative Health