You may have heard the word "disruption" lately.

College leaders are trying new approaches to teaching and research with digital tools, and some of those approaches could be transformative. Here are profiles of a dozen of those leaders, highlighting their ideas and the issues at stake. In making our selections, we considered nominations from readers. See which other innovators they suggested.

Laura Czerniewicz
U. of Cape Town

François Grey
Tsinghua U.

Jim Groom
U. of Mary Washington

Adrian Sannier
Pearson

Candace Thille
Carnegie Mellon U.

Bradley C. Wheeler
Indiana U.

Salman Khan
Khan Academy

Burck Smith
StraighterLine

Kathleen Fitzpatrick
Modern Language Association

Robert W. Mendenhall
Western Governors U.

Daniel J. Cohen
George Mason U.

John P. Wilkin
U. of Michigan