New England Legislative Sessions: Priorities Shift Amid COVID-19 Outbreak

The 2020 state legislative sessions started off “business as usual,” but this legislative year has quickly become anything but usual. The recent state-by-state implementation of aggressive social distancing measures to mitigate the further spread of COVID-19 effectively ended most states’ 2020 legislative sessions. Massachusetts—the only New England state legislature that continues to meet...

Hedeen Named New Prez of University of Maine at Fort Kent

Comings and Goings ... The University of Maine System named Deborah Hedeen, currently provost and vice chancellor for academic and student affairs at the University of Montana Western, to be president/provost of the University of Maine at Fort Kent, effective July 1. Simmons University appointed Ray Pfeiffer, a CPA who formerly held faculty positions at Texas Christian University and the U...

New England Council, like NEBHE, Calls on Congress to Provide Relief for Higher Ed amid COVID-19 Woes

DC Shuttle ... New England Council Calls on Senators to Provide COVID-19 Relief to Colleges. The New England Council sent a letter calling on Congress to provide relief to colleges and universities in light of the COVID-19 public health crisis that has forced them to close their campuses to students. In a letter sent to each New England senator, as well as Senate leadership, on March 20, the Co...

Ed Dept Eases Some Online Regs in Response to COVID-19

DC Shuttle ... U.S. Education Department Eases Regulations as Colleges Move to Online Learning. A new guidance document released by the Department of Education granted "broad approval" to schools as they transition to digital learning amid the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Per the document, the department will still allow schools to qualify for Federal Work Study and Pell Gran...

Economist, Community College Chancellor Gittell to Lead Bryant University

Comings and Goings ... The Bryant University Board of Trustees announced that after an extensive national search it has appointed distinguished economist and economic development expert Ross Gittell, who is currently chancellor of the Community College System of New Hampshire, as the university’s next president. Gittell will succeed Ronald K. Machtley, a former member of Congress, who has...

Senators Seek Action on Racial Disparities for Student Borrowers

DC Shuttle ... Senators Write to Education Department Over Racial Disparities in Student Borrowing. Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Kamala Harris (D-CA), and Cory Booker (D-NJ) wrote to the Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights (OCR) asking how the office plans to address racial disparities in federal student loans. The letter cites studies that have shown black students are 20% mo...

Distance Ed Enrollments Under National SARA Grow by 5%

Nearly 1.3 million students were enrolled exclusively in distance-education programs at institutions participating in National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) in fall 2018, according to new data from NC-SARA’s fourth annual enrollment report. That’s a 5% increase over fall 2017 data, illustrating continued growing demand for postsecondary distance-education ...

NEBHE’s First SARA Director to Lead Bay Path University

Comings and Goings ... Sandra J. Doran, NEBHE's first director of the New England State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA), was named the sixth president of Bay Path University, succeeding Carol Leary, who retires in June following her 25-year presidency. Doran has recently been serving as interim president of Salem Academy and College, a private women’s school in Winston-Salem, N...

League Literature

A few years back NEJHE featured Boston freelance writer Matt Robinson on a program called "Training Transformational Teachers" that uses research from various fields to help teachers understand the ways the brain learns best, then shows them classroom-tested strategies to boost student interest and retention and creative applications of what they're learning. Now, Robinson has authored Lions, Tige...

Lawmakers, AGs Stand Up to DeVos on Religion and Title IX

DC Shuttle ... Democratic Lawmakers and Attorneys General Demand Education Department Withdraw Religious Exemption Draft Rules. Sixteen Democratic senators wrote a letter to U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos over her proposed draft rules in relation to Title IX and religious institutions and groups. The proposed rules would expand eligibility for institutions claiming a religious exemption f...