Posts Categorized: Demography

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...

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...

Can Online Learning Be Trauma-Responsive?

With the growing number of colleges moving to online learning, I have been asked: Can online learning incorporate trauma-responsive strategies? The short answer is yes. Before turning to specific pedagogical approaches, it is worth reiterating why trauma-responsiveness is so critical to learning at this moment. Pre-pandemic and before the current racial tensions and economic uncertainty, we wer...

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...

Looking at a Familiar “Core Competency” … Why Bother Reading When You’re Old?

Typical lists of core competencies for undergraduates feature written communication, critical thinking and information literacy, among others, but merely presume, leaving unstated, the bedrock importance of reading skills. Lifelong learning, a dedication to which is part of practically all mission or aspirational statements, includes the ongoing practice and continued appreciation of those core sk...

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 ...

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....

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...