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August 31, 2015

Opinion: Tech Giants Don't Extend Innovation to Education

Despite a remarkable record of innovation in areas ranging from space travel to urban transit, Silicon Valley billionaires have failed to apply that disruptive energy to their education giving, to the potential detriment of their industry, according to a TechCrunch opinion piece.

Even as tech moguls "donate millions to old-line American colleges and universities," the growth of science, technology, engineering, and math jobs is rapidly outpacing the number of graduates in those fields, and women and minorities remain woefully underrepresented in the industry, writes Daniel Pianko, a partner in University Ventures, which invests in higher-education companies.

"Failure to transform American higher education may undo the very building blocks of our nation’s innovation infrastructure," Mr. Pianko says. He calls on tech billionaires to emulate wealthy forebears such as Johns Hopkins and Andrew Carnegie, who endowed research universities to tackle the technological challenges of their day, or to invest in private-sector providers that are re-imagining science and tech learning.