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A satellite image of hurricane clouds.

How is Higher Ed Like a Hurricane?

August 22, 2019|By

Both are incredibly complex and difficult to manage. But complexity science can offer insights into both – with a particular focus on education leadership.

The tension between idea and practice is frequently one of the biggest challenges we face when "remodeling" education systems.

It is difficult to implement new policies with fidelity, in part because our institutions are subject to complex social forces. Dana Center senior policy analyst Jeremy Martin suggests useful tools for understanding this complexity and making better leadership decisions when implementing far-reaching changes at scale. 

"Higher Education as a Complex Adaptive System: Considerations for Leadership and Scale" is Chapter 7 in the Dana Center Mathematics Pathways monograph Emerging Issues in Mathematics Pathways: Case Studies, Scans of the Field, and Recommendations. Explore the monograph at


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