Laurie Leshin to Blast Off From Worcester to California

Comings and Goings ... Worcester Polytechnic Institute President Laurie Leshin was named director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the California lab affiliated with NASA. A geochemist and space scientist, Leshin was the first woman to lead WPI and will be the first woman to lead the Jet Propulsion Laboratory run by the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). Leshin will leave the Worc...

Former Wheelock Leader Will Be Interim Prez at Roxbury CC, Hanlon to Step Down at Dartmouth, Deval Patrick Will Teach at Kennedy School

Comings and Goings ... Former Wheelock College President Jackie Jenkins-Scott was named interim president of Roxbury Community College. Leading Wheelock, she added new cross-disciplinary and online programs, increased undergraduate enrollment by over 50% and grew representation of ethnically and differently-abled students by 40%. She is also president and founder of JJS Advising, which prov...

Mass Higher Ed Commish, UConn Prez Announce Departures

Comings and Goings ... Carlos Santiago, commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, announced he will step down in June. Born in Puerto Rico, Santiago became the Bay State's first Latino higher ed commissioner in 2015 after serving as deputy under former Commissioner Richard Freeland and chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee from 2004 to 2010. A labor eco...

College Enrollment Drops Again

DC Shuttle ... Student Enrollment Drops. Enrollment at colleges fell once again in the fall, according to a new report. The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center released a new report which said undergraduate enrollment in fall 2021 dropped 3.1%. In total, enrollment was down by about half a million students, with declines in every sector. The drop is similar to that of the previou...

RI College’s Sánchez, Dean College’s Rooney Announce Final Years of Presidencies

Comings and Goings ... Rhode Island College (RIC) President Frank D. Sánchez announced he will step down after his contract expires on June 30. Appointed to lead the four-year college in 2016, Sánchez said he was most proud of reducing out-of-pocket expenses with such moves as putting more textbooks online and reducing the price of public transit passes used by many students at the college...

Framingham State U Taps Provost of a Maryland HBCU as Next Prez

Comings and Goings ... Framingham State University Trustees tapped University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Nancy Niemi to be the Massachusetts institution's eighth president, succeeding F. Javier Cevallos, who announced he's retiring after this academic year. UMES is an HBCU (historically Black college and university) in Princess Anne, Md....

Promises, Promises: Exploring Free College in New England

Free college policies—commonly known as "Promise" programs—are important promoters of equity in higher education. Some specific elements help ensure these free college programs truly encourage equity, especially for students from low-income backgrounds. These elements include: providing financial support beyond the costs of tuition and fees, supporting adult learners and undocumented students,...

RISD Names BU VP as New Prez, Leshan Leaving Northeastern for National Org

Comings and Goings ... Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) appointed Crystal Williams, a former professor at Reed and Bates colleges and Boston University’s inaugural vice president and associate provost for community & inclusion, as the Providence college's 18th president, starting April 1, 2022. She succeeds Rosanne Somerson, who now serves as the institution’s first president em...

College Towns, Jobs, Mental Health: More Data Connection

Number of New England communities among WalletHub’s top 50 Best & Worst College Towns & Cities: 2  WalletHub 2022's Best College Towns & Cities in America (Based on indicators of academic, social and economic growth potential, ranging from cost of living to the quality of higher education to the crime rate. The New England communities are Storrs, Conn. at No. 18 and Cambridge, Mass....

Champlain, Maine Maritime, Great Bay Name New Presidents … Plus a Progressive Prosecutor Becomes U.S. Attorney

Comings and Goings ... The Champlain College Board of Trustees named Alejandro "Alex" Hernandez as the 10th president of the Burlington, Vt. college, starting in June 2022. Hernandez is dean of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies and vice provost of online learning at the University of Virginia. He'll succeed Benjamin Ola. Akande, who stepped down after less than a year in cha...