News Release from AASCU


Contact: Judy Phair (240) 786-6624


WASHINGTON, D.C.—New business models that harness technology and innovation are the key to reforming—and transforming—higher education in the United States. 

Despite enormous financial pressures and public mistrust, “pockets of genius” on some campuses are already ramping up the value and cost-effectiveness of education, argues author Susan Aldridge in the new book, Wired for Success: Real-World Solutions for Transforming Higher Education.  

Aldridge is president of Drexel University Online; the book was commissioned and published by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), where Aldridge was a senior fellow in 2013. She and co-author Kathleen Harvatt use their extensive research and experience to offer practical advice on the revolutionary transformation reshaping higher education. They explore the learning experiences, environments and technologies; institutional structures; and strategies that are being led by academic “gazelles”–fast-running thought leaders at public and private colleges and universities across the nation. 

Aldridge and Harvatt use case studies to highlight new e-learning, financing, and pricing business models; effective outsourcing of selected programs and services; virtual and physically combined campuses; co-branding; and the formation of partnerships and consortia to increase value and reduce costs. They also outline strategies for helping faculty members to adapt to different learning styles and new technologies, families to choose colleges on more than price and proximity, and presidents to break away from the ratings wars. 

The book also focuses on identifying and overcoming the full spectrum of obstacles to long-term success, such as an “addiction to tradition,”  “MOOC Mania,” test obsession, and over-emphasis on job training.

Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, president emeritus, George Washington University, says Wired for Success “irresistibly makes the case for innovation and clearly states why we can’t stay where we are…[It] is inspirational and intimidating, an imperative read for every stakeholder in the higher education community.”

Prior to serving as a senior fellow at AASCU, Aldridge was president of the online University of Maryland University College, the largest public university in the nation. Harvatt has had an extensive career in communications, public relations, and higher education research.  Wired for Success is available through AASCU’s online bookstore for $20.99, plus shipping, and will be available electronically through the Kindle Store on


AASCU is a Washington, D.C.-based higher education association of more than 400 public colleges, universities, and systems whose members share a learning- and teaching-centered culture, a historic commitment to underserved student populations, and a dedication to research and creativity that advances their regions’ economic progress and cultural development.