Posts Categorized: Admissions

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...

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...

­­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...

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...

Hello New England …

Becoming chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Boston is a humbling experience and a great responsibility for me—it is indeed the opportunity of a lifetime. As a kid who emigrated from Argentina to the U.S. to escape political unrest at age 17, with just a few dollars in my pocket, I was one of millions of Americans by-choice arriving over the years, searching for a better life. Settling...

Out of the Wreckage of COVID, the Rebirth of College Career Services

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the labor market, with more than 40 million Americans who have filed for unemployment. Even as some states have attempted to reopen their economies, allowing 4 million people to head back to work, the unemployment rate still hovers around 16%. And we’re still in the early innings of recovery—perhaps even just batting practice. The recovery ...

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...

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...