Posts Categorized: The Journal

DNF in the Race to Change Higher Education

In racing lingo, "DNF" stands for “Did Not Finish.” Unless getting to the finish line is a simple straight-line drag race, winning a race takes a lot more than horsepower and can be as dependent upon: brakes that allow the highest approach speeds to corners, suspension and downforce that keep the car on the track while navigating corners, and a support crew that can change tires and add gas fa...

From #BLM to the Emergence of @Blackat___

In February 2012, a 17-year-old Black boy was shot dead in the streets of Florida by a neighbor who felt this boy looked suspicious. Carrying a can of iced tea and a bag of Skittles, Trayvon Martin became yet another name added to the list of Black lives lost to racism. What surely shattered all hope, was that even after the facts of the case were reviewed, his killer was let free by the criminal ...

One New England College’s “Legacy Alumni of Color” Lay Out a Blueprint to Mend Broken Hearts

In 1966, Jimmy Ruffin sang “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted?” This song resonates with us and many of our colleagues whose hearts were broken 55 years ago at our alma mater, Springfield College ... Virtually every Black student at the college in those days felt unwelcomed. Not only was there a dearth of Black faculty, but there were also virtually no administrators of color and no suppor...

Attacks on Critical Race Theory Blemish Era of Race Consciousness

When I was in elementary school, history happened like this: The world was fighting, the Civil War happened, Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves and then everything was happy and free, and the U.S. was the place to be. Now obviously that is a gross exaggeration of the facts. But it’s not untrue about what we as role models, educators, parents and guardians chose to disclose to children about the hi...

Will PWIs Embrace Change in a Nation at Unrest?

Ahmaud Arbery, February 23, 2020. A murder that was concealed and hidden away from this nation at unrest. Breonna Taylor, March 13, 2020. A murder, again hidden from a nation at unrest. George Floyd, May 25, 2020. A murder documented and mourned by all of America, not just those who are Black and American. As the protests began and stories began to change, this divided nation—Haitian, J...

Data, Decision-Making and Student Success

Which matters more, gauging the health of an institution or the success of its students? Recently, the project director and I submitted the Annual Performance Report for the second year of our university’s Title III grant, for which I serve as part-time consultant. The five-year award from the U.S. Department of Education is a competitive grant intended to strengthen the academic quality and ...

Access to What?

The current shakeout in higher education won’t necessarily leave a gap in terms of accessibility, since workforce demands will ensure some form of credentialing replaces it. But the value of what fills the gap is an open question. ... As the head of public system, advocating for funding to support greater access to higher education was a given. Postindustrial economies depend on a highly educ...

Truth, Education and Democracy in an Era of “Alternative Facts”

There has been a growing consensus among authorities, especially in the Trump era, that the U.S. is in an epistemological crisis that threatens our democracy. President Barack Obama, for example, in a recent Atlantic interview, said: "If we do not have the capacity to distinguish what’s true from what’s false, then by definition the marketplace of ideas doesn’t work. And by definition, ou...

To Invest in America’s Future, Double the Pell Grant

Following is an op-ed from James T. Brett, president and CEO of  the New England Council, the region's oldest business organization ...          College affordability and access to higher education has been a topic of much discussion in Washington D.C. and throughout our region in recent years. And rightfully so. The price of higher education continues to increase, and millions of Am...

Teaching the Active-Shooter Generation

I’ve been teaching political science for about a decade now. I teach students about the international system, the functioning of government, foreign policy, national security. My teaching is based on my 12 years of higher education and shaped by my life experiences. I’m a Cold War kid. In grade school and junior-high classrooms, we had “duck and cover” drills for what to do in the case ...