Posts Categorized: Commentary

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...

Open Matters: A Brief Intro

In late September 2019, I joined NEBHE as its Open Education Fellow to help build upon the grassroots efforts that have been underway for years in the Northeast aiming to lessen the burden that textbook costs place on higher education students and their families. Like so many of my colleagues doing this work day in and day out, I’m passionate about breaking down this very real barrier to student...

To Counsel Readiness

Higher education is awash with challenges. While young people today need college more than ever, college attendance across the country has dropped in each of the last eight years, including 300,000 fewer students last year alone. This is happening at a time when almost all new well-paying jobs require postsecondary training and study. As enrollment declines threaten the survival of more tha...

With High School Graduation Rates Dropping, Where Will the Next College Students Come From?

All signs indicate that high school graduation rates will continue to drop due to low birth rates, leading to a potential higher education metldown that is likely to affect all academic institutions, big and small, in the years after 2024. What steps do colleges and universities need to take to survive? The answer lies in subscribing to the law of survival of the fittest and in increasing marke...