Posts Categorized: Commentary

Making the Leap from the Traditional to the Virtual Educational Experience

As our computer screens filled with tiny squares of faces of students and faculty alike, we watched them fidget with their chairs and screens and heard their voices ring in our earphones ... Social distancing measures took hold at Wheaton College forcing the same screen encounters that are now spreading across higher education nationwide. In the wake of the effort to control the rapid spread of...

What Can New England Colleges and Universities Do to Prepare for a SCOTUS Decision on DACA?

Last November, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on whether the administration could rescind Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), with the fate of over 650,000 DACA recipients in the balance. While a decision is expected by June 2020, colleges and universities—including New England institutions—can begin preparing now. As of September 2019, New England is home to more than 10...

I’m Worried … Higher Education Isn’t Focused at all on COVID-19’s Psychological Toll

The number of articles on the impact of the coronavirus on higher education is growing by the minute. That’s understandable and necessary. The spread of this virus (which happens easily in a campus setting) raises critical questions about what educational institutions can and should do in light of the now spreading COVID-19 virus. And the raised issues are remarkably varied and call for all thos...

Who’s In Charge Here? Getting Accountability Right in Higher Ed

“Accountability” is one of the buzzwords of contemporary U.S. higher education. At times, it’s deployed primarily to strike a pose: We’re tough, we mean business. At other times, when this noun conveys not only muscularity but a real commitment to substantive results, its use is often imprecise. This imprecision has consequences and poses a danger. The concept of accountability, deploye...

These Students Could Save Higher Education in New England

This photograph from Gov. Charlie Baker’s State of the Commonwealth address last month shows more than just happy college students in their sweatshirts. These students, from Northern Essex Community College and Merrimack College, are part of cohorts of students who have graduated from “early college” programs (with up to a year’s college credit) and successfully matriculated into a two- or...

More Counselors Needed to Help Students Navigate College, Trauma

A recent report released by the National Association for College Admission Counseling found that only 29% of public schools surveyed had a full-time or part-time counselor who is solely focused on college admission counseling, compared with 48% of private schools. Furthermore, public school counselors across the U.S. in the 2016-17 school year were responsible for an average of 455 students each...

From Political Pioneer to Edtech Leader: A NEJHE Q&A with Jane Swift

“Traditionally, New England has been at the forefront of the leading innovations in education and I am hopeful we will give birth to some exciting new models again that will deliver value to learners and meet the needs of our economy.” Former Massachusetts Gov. Jane Swift became president of the education innovation organization LearnLaunch in July 2019. In 1998, Swift was elected lieute...

Ice-y Conditions … and Other Random Thoughts from the NEJHE Beat

Some news and thoughts from the NEJHE beat … ICE-y conditions. MIT recently alerted its staff that federal immigration officials would be checking the status of foreign postdoctoral students, researchers and visiting scholars in the sciences, and urged them to cooperate. ... Meanwhile, an Iranian student, returning to study at Northeastern University, was detained at Boston’s Logan Internat...

How Is Bulgaria Like New England?

This question probably seems like a lead-in for a funny non-sequitur, but bear with me for a moment. The American University in Bulgaria (AUBG), where I currently serve as interim president, was founded in 1991, soon after the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, originally as a branch campus of the University of Maine. Like several other international institutions, AUBG is accredited by the Ne...

Title IX Changes Could Add Exposure for Universities, Discourage Victims from Coming Forward

Higher Ed and the Law ... Title IX, the federal civil rights law passed in 1972, was a landmark piece of legislation that prohibited sexual discrimination in educational institutions across America. It reads, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or...