Associate Vice Provost for Academic Innovation and Founding Executive Director for the Center for Academic Innovation at the University of Michigan
James DeVaney is a longtime advocate for the transformative power of design and innovation in higher education. He currently serves as the Associate Vice Provost for Academic Innovation at the University of Michigan. He is also the Founding Executive Director for the Center for Academic Innovation. In this capacity, he works at the intersection of strategy, design, policy, and technology on a variety of University-wide programs and initiatives.
James works with faculty, administrators, students, and alumni to extend U-M’s academic excellence, expand the institution’s public purpose, and foster equity and inclusivity in higher education. He also works on a range of multi-institutional initiatives to help build a nationwide network of academic innovation.
James is a frequent speaker on innovation in higher education and is a member of the Advisory Committee of the National Center for Institutional Diversity (NCID), the Coursera Council, the FutureLearn Partnership Advisory Group, the edX Policy Committee, and the IMS Global Executive Strategic Council. On occasion, James consults for other universities, educational organizations, and governments on digital strategy, global engagement, policy and organizational design.
Prior to his role at U-M, James served as a senior director at Huron Consulting Group where he co-founded the firm’s global education and digital education practices. Previously, he lived in the United Arab Emirates where he established the firm’s presence in the MENA region. James has worked with and provided strategic counsel to more than 60 universities in more than 15 countries across the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, Australia and North America. In addition to world-class research universities, James has advised startup colleges and universities, new educational ventures, international branch campuses, government agencies, national libraries, museums, think-tanks, social enterprise organizations, and K-12 focused nonprofits.
He is a graduate of the Stephen M. Ross School of Business and the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan where he earned a Master of Business Administration, Master of Public Policy, and a Bachelor of Business Administration. James has visited more than 250 universities around the world and is focused on opportunities which enable lifelong, personalized, and engaged learning.