Posts Categorized: Technology

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...

Good Online Instruction Must Prioritize Student Motivation, Not Just Engagement

For the past several decades, student engagement has been an increasingly popular subject of research in higher education. A raft of studies, surveys and op-eds have put engagement at the center of the national narrative around student success—and at the top of the priority list for institutions seeking to support an increasingly diverse generation of learners. All that research suggests that in...

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...

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 ...