Posts Categorized: The Journal

Landscape Measure: Animating the University Campus to Promote Social Distancing

As many higher education institutions in New England grapple with how to safely reopen in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the physical setting of campuses becomes paramount. Indeed, NEJHE recently published a piece on the advantages of small rural campuses in the age of social distancing. Here, Leonard Yui, an associate professor of architecture at Roger Williams University in Bristol, R.I....

Colleges as Courtrooms? How Administrators Can Adjust to New Title IX Regs

The first formal changes to Title IX’s implementing regulations in 45 years are here, and they are significant. The federal statute, which prohibits sex discrimination in educational programs receiving federal financial assistance, had its earliest impacts on intercollegiate athletics. But since the late 1990s, it has also been interpreted to prohibit sexual harassment in education. It is this a...

Pandemic Innovation

A view from Mount Holyoke on why practical, flexible new models are needed for liberal arts colleges ... Students choose small liberal arts colleges for the learning that unfolds when they are deeply immersed in intellectual collaboration with faculty and with one another. The photos that festoon our promotional materials aren’t mere marketing—we spend a lot of time with one another in clos...

Practitioner Perspectives: OER and a Call for Equity

About a year ago, I attended a meeting at the New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE) focused on reducing the cost of learning materials for college students in our region. I have been pleased since then to work with colleagues across the New England states on NEBHE’s Open Education Advisory Committee that is looking into how best to support institutions and faculty as they replace high-co...

The Human Dimensions of Enrollment Management

I want to discuss the human dimensions of what I have too often treated (thinking with my instincts as a theoretical physicist) as a scientific methods problem. Experience has taught me that the human forces of a problem are often more important in determining how we meet challenges in an educational institution than the technical aspects. Indeed, management of offices that relate to such function...

For Some Small Colleges, the Pandemic Could Sadly Be Their Savior

Pre-pandemic, a good number of us lamented the demise of small colleges. Let’s define these here as non-elite colleges with enrollment of fewer than 1,500 full-time undergraduate students. For the most part, these institutions have few graduate programs, a handful at most. Some of these colleges have closed; some have merged; some have partnered. Whatever the structure, it feels to me still l...

Is This the End of Higher Education? A Historian’s Perspective

Discussions of the problematic future of higher education were already an exploding industry before COVID-19, producing more to be read than anyone could possibly keep up with. Their main audience was academic administrators and a few faculty, worrying where their institutions and careers were headed, and wanting guidance in strategic decision-making—helping to identify not only where they actua...

United We Stand

This is a uniquely defining moment in American history. In our collective lifetime, few of us have seen or could possibly imagine anything approaching the events we are witnessing on the streets of Boston, across New England, and in states and countries across the globe. What began as low-simmering protests in Minnesota has metastasized and sparked massive demonstrations, public unrest, civil diso...

Practitioner Perspectives: Corcoran on NOLO—No-Cost & Low-Cost Course Designators

The rising cost of college textbooks has been well-documented over the past few years. Reports indicate that textbook prices have risen by over 800%—three times the inflation rate over the past 50 years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. A study from the Florida Virtual Campus documented the academic impact that textbook costs had on student success. The study detailed that 47...

Will the Scarring Show? Graduating in the Time of COVID-19

2020 will forever be remembered as the year of COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus. This year, the term “social distancing” became part of our vocabulary, and virtual proms and online commencement ceremonies became commonplace. According to Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce analysis of HIS Markit Forecast Summary of May 2020, on the economic front, 2...