2012 is a year of interest and consequence to all of New England higher education. …
This year marks the 150th anniversary of the first Morrill Land Grant Act, named after the great Vermont senator, Justin Morrill, who was instrumental in its creation and passage. Not only is the region’s higher education community reminded of its great tradition and leadership, it is compelled by the need to continue to play a role in the nation’s economic recovery and to reconsider the vision of institutions in present and future prosperity.
Also this year, the region (home to some of the nation’s most unique political cultures) will keep a watchful eye on what 2012 brings by way of elections and policy change. What changes affecting higher education will come out of Washington? How will student aid and the expanded emphasis on greater support for community colleges fare? How will the higher education, innovation and competitiveness agendas of President Obama and the Republican challenger compare and what will they mean for the region?
Accordingly, NEBHE, through its distinguished New England Journal of Higher Education, will devote special attention in 2012 to these two key issue areas. We will draw on opinions and insights from leaders across the region and in the nation’s capital.
For starters, the Journal will feature video clips from NEBHE’s April 3 leadership conference “Locally and Regionally Engaged: New England Colleges and Universities as Drivers of Innovation, Workforce and Economic Development.”
NEBHE invites you to participate in this critical dialogue and to contribute your views and opinions on these two vital matters. Higher education is at the center of New England’s soul, its past and future. It continues to be at the core of what makes the region great and enduring.
Michael K. Thomas is president & CEO of NEBHE.