Posts Categorized: Commentary

Addressing Climate Change the Smart Way

Climate change is real and accelerating. It requires an urgent response that focuses all the strategies and tactics necessary to stabilize the Earth’s temperature regime. The objective to guide research, development and implementation is straightforward: Achieve an all-electric economy. Simply put, all sectors of energy use—agriculture, transportation, industrial, residential, business, etc...

Why Civic Education Is Key to Protecting Democracy

In an era of rising authoritarianism, civic education and political literacy, especially for future voters, is key ... American democracy just survived a near-death experience during the slow-motion coup that was the four years of Donald Trump’s presidency. It culminated in his rejecting his electoral loss and pressuring officials and political allies to back his claims that the election was ...

Can Higher Education Institutions Mandate COVID-19 Vaccines for Employees?

As COVID-19 cases continue to surge nationwide, the newly approved COVID-19 vaccines cannot come soon enough. Although higher education institutions (HEIs) are not at the top of the priority list to receive scarce early doses of the vaccine, colleges and universities should prepare for how they will handle vaccination on their campuses. In general, both public and private HEIs may mandate that ...

Making the Most of COVID-19 Relief Funding

In the final days of 2020, Congress gave the country a long-overdue Christmas present with the passage of a new COVID-19 relief bill. Known as the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA), the bill is a whopping 5,500 pages long. But for higher education institutions, the real action starts on Page 1872 with the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (known as HEERF...

Looking at the Capitol Riot: Who Are the Patriots?

Jan. 6, 2021 marked a day in American history that no one imagined happening: a modern-day civil war riot. The attack on the U.S. Capitol has left many people angry, worried and confused ... The virulent attack by the president of the U.S. and his congressional enablers, especially Senators Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz, on our recent election and election process represents more than just an at...

Roots of the Current Crises (Hate to Say I Told You So)

Something inside me keeps saying: I told you something like this would happen. After 50 years studying opportunity for higher education, I am somewhat comfortable (and very uncomfortable too) saying the issues I have sought to address and warned about underlie the current political chaos. Our failures to address them (and I include higher education centrally in "our") have boiled over: 1) Incom...

Revisiting the U.S. Market for International Students

In the past few months, a plethora of reports have documented the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on global business, and these are generally not something to be happy about. As expected, the international education sector has not been spared. Because of border closures and stringent travel protocols implemented by many countries, international enrollment numbers have plummeted considerably. Th...

Practitioner Perspectives: Q&A on Open Education with Plymouth State U Accessibility Expert Hannah Davidson

In the following Q&A, NEBHE’s Fellow for Open Education Lindsey Gumb talks with Hannah Davidson, accessibility specialist at Plymouth State University and member of NEBHE’s OER (Open Educational Resources) Advisory Board, about redefining accessibility in Open Education. Gumb: You’ve spoken about reconsidering the definition of “access” in Open Education. Can you elaborate on ...

A New Plan for Faculty Diversity … and Other Winter Wonders from the NEJHE Beat

Faculty diversity. In the early 1990s, NEBHE, the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) and the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) collaborated to develop the first Compact for Faculty Diversity. Formally launched in 1994, with support from the Ford Foundation and Pew Charitable Trust, the compact focused on five key strategies: motivating states and universities to inc...

A Year after Prepping for a Hypothetical Recession, Higher Ed Leaders Confront a Real Pandemic and Enrollment Pressures

In October 2019, NEBHE called together a group of economists and higher education leaders for a meeting at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston to discuss the future of higher education (Preparing for Another Recession?). No one suspected that just months later, a global pandemic would turn the world upside down. Today, the same challenges highlighted at the meeting persist. The pandemic has only am...