Posts Categorized: Commentary

Where Have All the Role Models Gone?

Sadly, the number of COVID-19 cases across the globe is rising. And while vaccines are in the offing, we may have many weeks between now and their availability, time in which more individuals can become infected and too many will die. In absolute terms, the numbers are staggering in the U.S. and around the world. It is against this background that we should be concerned about superspreader even...

Higher Education Must Do Its Part to Bend the Arc

America is undergoing a reckoning as the pain, suffering and setbacks caused by years of systemic racism is coming into full view. This heightened awareness around racism, sparked by death and injustice, must result in the development of real pathways to eliminate systemic racism, or it will be a lost opportunity for our generation to do our part in—to paraphrase Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr....

Hearing What Students Have to Say About Success in Online Learning­­­­­

The majority of college students were largely disappointed by remote learning this past spring, with many reporting a strong preference for in-person instruction. Bearing in mind the low expectations that many students carried into online courses this fall, what advice can we give to help them succeed in this final month? As colleges across New England and the country continue to announce spring p...

From the NEJHE Beat … Semi-Locked Down But Not Out

The NEJHE beat is semi-locked down, but not out. A little of what we’ve been following … Counting heads. New enrollment figures show higher education reeling under the weight of COVID-19 and a faltering economy on top of preexisting challenges such as worries that college may not be worth the price. A month into the fall 2020 semester, undergraduate enrollment nationally was down 4% from la...

Practitioner Perspectives: A Q&A on Steering Open Education in the Ocean State

In the following Q&A, NEBHE’s Fellow for Open Education Lindsey Gumb takes the pulse of Open Education in Rhode Island with two key leaders in the field: Dragan Gill, who is a Rhode Island College reference librarian and co-chair of the Rhode Island Open Textbook Initiative, and Daniela Fairchild, who is director of the Rhode Island Office of Innovation. In September 2016, Rhode I...

Economic Recovery Amid COVID-19 Uncertainty

Takeaways from NEBHE's Legislative Advisory Committee ... The economic fallout of the layoffs and business closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc for New England workers—especially those who were already facing a structurally vulnerable workforce and employment system before the pandemic. What can state governments do to stimulate job creation and make New England’s econ...

Advocates of Higher Ed Access Should Also Champion School Arts Programs

Today's schools are preparing children, starting at an early age, for future educational and career opportunities that will help them succeed. With strict standards that must be met, measured in part by testing, it's not unusual for both time and funding to be shifted away from arts education to achieve this goal. While this might seem like a reasonable reaction at first, it overlooks an import...

5 Ways Open Educational Resources Can Help Students Succeed This Fall 

The shift to online learning has challenged instructors to create courses that are as engaging online as they are in person. As many faculty prepare for online learning again this fall, open educational resources (OER) can be part of the solution to help students stay safe and be successful. OER are free and openly licensed online teaching and learning materials that support instructors and stu...

­­Harvard and Yale: Too Much Affirmative Action or Too Little?

This essay is a sequel to “The Human Dimensions of Enrollment Management,” published in The New England Journal of Higher Education on June 30, 2020. In that article, my unusual focus (as a trained theoretical physicist) was on integrity, not science, as the single most important factor in enrollment management success. Early in my supervision of enrollment management (from a faculty position ...

Land-Grant Mission Tailor-Made for Boosting Post-Pandemic Recovery

Gracing the back wall of my office at the University of Vermont is an antique wooden desk that’s more than 150 years old. While it’s an undeniably handsome piece of 19th century craftsmanship, it serves much more than a decorative purpose. As the desk of Vermont Sen. Justin Morrill, the author of the Morrill Act of 1862 establishing the country’s first land-grant universities, it is m...