the weekly digest from NEJHE and other news from the New England Board of Higher Education
April 14, 2021

The perspectives of today's students are shaped by hate crimes, terrorist attacks and mass shootings. "My students know about El Paso, Dayton, Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, Parkland, Pulse Nightclub, Thousand Oaks, Las Vegas, Tree of Life Synagogue, the Boston Marathon bombing, the Emanuel AME Church, among so many others," writes Christina Cliff, an assistant professor of political science & security studies at Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire. A self-described Cold War kid, Cliff explores teaching courses on political violence and terrorism to students in the post-9/11, mass-shootings generation. "My students didn’t just duck and cover under their K-12 school desks," she writes. "They learned to tie tourniquets, and have been taught how to block doors [and] how to stay silent in a coat closet."
More from The New England Journal of Higher Education

Remote learning was a key component of college strategies for addressing the COVID-19 crisis across the country. More than 1,100 colleges went entirely remote by March 2020, according to the education consultancy Entangled Solutions, and 44% of institutions had developed fully (or primarily) remote instruction by September 2020, reports the College Crisis Initiative at Davidson College. This mass migration to remote learning also resulted in significant increases in technology spending. Converting the investments made to support remote learning into a new online revenue stream, however, is an entirely different proposition, writes Todd J. Leach, the chancellor emeritus of the University System of New Hampshire and former chair of NEBHE.

NEJHE has spilled much ink (pixels?) on stories related to trauma, the coronavirus pandemic and immigration, treated as mostly distinct issues. Here, psychologist Diya Kallivayalil ties those angles together as she explains how the Victims of Violence Program that she directs at Cambridge Health Alliance pursues its mission of bringing health equity and social justice to underserved, medically indigent populations. A faculty member in the Psychiatry Department at Harvard Medical School, Kallivayalil writes of many patients who have lost their incomes and faced racialized targeting of immigrants in workplaces and beyond.

Even in this time when people presume to be having a “racial reckoning,” signs of enduring racial inequity pop up everywhere. From the nagging disparities in health where Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) die at higher rates than other groups from COVID-19 … to the steep declines in Black and Latino students submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) … to Black food service workers experiencing disproportionate short-tipping for enforcing social distancing rules ... inequality reigns. Executive Editor John O. Harney reports on the racial equity conversation that he has monitored mostly via Zoom since the pandemic began.

The University of Rhode Island (URI) Board of Trustees chose Marc B. Parlange, provost and senior vice president of Monash University in Australia, as the Rhode Island flagship’s 12th president. Nichols College named Bryant University Provost Glenn Sulmasy to be its next president, adding to the presidential turnover in Central Massachusetts. And one Massachusetts community college tapped another's provost to be its new president.

Pictured: Marc B. Parlange
NEBHE Issues Statement on Anti-Asian Violence

NEBHE has released the following statement about the recent violent attacks on the Asian American Pacific Islander community ...

We condemn violence and discrimination of any kind against our Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) friends and neighbors. We unite with AAPI students, faculty, staff, trustees, alumni and others across the region to support safe communities and education institutions for all—and to end racism and xenophobia. We express our sincere support for all AAPI students and colleagues during this time of worry and distress.
Tracking Coronavirus: A Deep Dive
This semester, NEBHE is deep-diving on topics related to New England institutions' response to COVID-19 (see our updated COVID-19 response page here). We will publish periodic briefs on topics including: plans for spring 2021, federal actions that affect higher education, vaccination distribution, mental health and planning for fall 2021. Interested in a topic we haven't covered? Reach out to Charlotte Peyser at
News Around NEBHE

The latest edition of The Monthly Policy Dispatch from NEBHE's Policy & Research team covers the work of Faculty Diversity Fellows Kamille Gentiles-Peart and Tatiana Cruz and their proposal to create reparative justice in higher education. To subscribe to The Monthly Policy Dispatch, click here or contact NEBHE Associate Director of Policy Research and Analysis Stephanie Murphy at

We seek a Director of Finance and Administration to lead NEBHE’s finance, business management and
budgeting, human resources, administration and IT.
The director will play a critical role in partnering with the senior leadership
team in strategic decision-making and operations as NEBHE continues to enhance its quality programming and build capacity. Qualified candidates may submit a cover letter and resume to
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NEJHE NewsBlast is a summary of NEJHE content and other news around NEBHE prepared weekly by NEJHE Executive Editor John O. Harney and emailed every Wednesday to opinion leaders and practitioners. When responding to NEJHE content, please make sure that your remarks are relevant, courteous and engaging. Individuals are responsible for their comments, which do not represent the opinions of the New England Board of Higher Education. We urge commenters to briefly note their occupational or other interest in the topic at hand. Please refrain from offensive language, personal attacks and distasteful comments or they may be deleted. Comments may not appear immediately. Thank you for staying engaged.
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