Posts Categorized: Topic

From the NEJHE Beat … Semi-Locked Down But Not Out

The NEJHE beat is semi-locked down, but not out. A little of what we’ve been following … Counting heads. New enrollment figures show higher education reeling under the weight of COVID-19 and a faltering economy on top of preexisting challenges such as worries that college may not be worth the price. A month into the fall 2020 semester, undergraduate enrollment nationally was down 4% from la...

Practitioner Perspectives: A Q&A on Steering Open Education in the Ocean State

In the following Q&A, NEBHE’s Fellow for Open Education Lindsey Gumb takes the pulse of Open Education in Rhode Island with two key leaders in the field: Dragan Gill, who is a Rhode Island College reference librarian and co-chair of the Rhode Island Open Textbook Initiative, and Daniela Fairchild, who is director of the Rhode Island Office of Innovation. In September 2016, Rhode I...

Economic Recovery Amid COVID-19 Uncertainty

Takeaways from NEBHE's Legislative Advisory Committee ... The economic fallout of the layoffs and business closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc for New England workers—especially those who were already facing a structurally vulnerable workforce and employment system before the pandemic. What can state governments do to stimulate job creation and make New England’s econ...

Advocates of Higher Ed Access Should Also Champion School Arts Programs

Today's schools are preparing children, starting at an early age, for future educational and career opportunities that will help them succeed. With strict standards that must be met, measured in part by testing, it's not unusual for both time and funding to be shifted away from arts education to achieve this goal. While this might seem like a reasonable reaction at first, it overlooks an import...

5 Ways Open Educational Resources Can Help Students Succeed This Fall 

The shift to online learning has challenged instructors to create courses that are as engaging online as they are in person. As many faculty prepare for online learning again this fall, open educational resources (OER) can be part of the solution to help students stay safe and be successful. OER are free and openly licensed online teaching and learning materials that support instructors and stu...

­­Harvard and Yale: Too Much Affirmative Action or Too Little?

This essay is a sequel to “The Human Dimensions of Enrollment Management,” published in The New England Journal of Higher Education on June 30, 2020. In that article, my unusual focus (as a trained theoretical physicist) was on integrity, not science, as the single most important factor in enrollment management success. Early in my supervision of enrollment management (from a faculty position ...

Land-Grant Mission Tailor-Made for Boosting Post-Pandemic Recovery

Gracing the back wall of my office at the University of Vermont is an antique wooden desk that’s more than 150 years old. While it’s an undeniably handsome piece of 19th century craftsmanship, it serves much more than a decorative purpose. As the desk of Vermont Sen. Justin Morrill, the author of the Morrill Act of 1862 establishing the country’s first land-grant universities, it is m...

Hey Big Spenders: Spend a Little Less on Phone Lines and Package Delivery?

College and university leaders are fighting the battle of their lives to maximize their institutions’ financial wellbeing. With COVID-19 further weakening institutions’ financial positions, are there any hidden sources of savings still to be had? The answer, often, is yes—even for the many institutions who have already made substantial cuts. It is possible that 15% to 20% of expense...

And Now For Something Completely Uncomfortable: Estate Planning for Academia During COVID-19

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “If life were predictable it would cease to be life, and be without flavor.” Her words are excellent guideposts as New England colleges and universities navigate the unknowns of educating students during COVID-19. Despite the precautions that institutions are taking, on-campus teaching and research are not totally risk-free. Neither, of course, is life itself...

Building the Brand: How the Physical Campus Shapes Student Experience (Even During a Pandemic)

The brand of a college or university is more than its logo or tagline. It's an accumulation of experiences for students, staff, faculty, alumni and community members. Marketing is part of it, but every time someone sets foot on your campus, they are walking into your brand. This fall, fewer students will be on campuses and they may be there with less frequency. COVID-19 won’t last forever...