the weekly digest from NEJHE and other news from the New England Board of Higher Education
Jan. 20, 2021

How did we arrive at our current chaos? Tom Mortenson, the longtime publisher of the newsletter Postsecondary Education Opportunity and friend of NEJHE, hates to say it, but he has been warning for years about the trends that underlie the current political upheaval. Chief among these issues: income inequality surging ahead unchecked; men disengaging from the labor force and family life; higher ed becoming an engine of division, enriching the rich and leaving everyone else out; and the selective college admissions system as outright class warfare.

Eric Lander, president and founding director of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and Maria Zuber, MIT’s vice president for research, were tapped by President-elect Joe Biden for top science roles in his administration. Lander co-chaired the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) for President Barack Obama for eight years until 2017. He will take a leave of absence from his job as MIT biology prof to fill this new role. Among other New England impacts in D.C, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Vermont Independent, will chair the powerful Senate Budget Committee. ... Changes also at Broad Institute, a key player in the COVID-19 testing field.

Pictured: Eric Lander
News Around NEBHE

The number of students nationwide enrolled in distance education programs rose to nearly 3 million in fall 2019, a 7.5% increase over 2018 enrollment data, according to the most recent report by the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA). And that’s before the COVID-19 pandemic prompted an unprecedented shift to virtual course delivery!

With support from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, NEBHE is establishing a pilot Open Education Community of Practice composed of eight regionally represented faculty members who are interested in the pedagogical benefits and development of Open Educational Resources (OER). Members of this Community of Practice will participate in webinars, workshops and facilitated discussions to build confidence in leveraging the licensing structures of OER and offer faculty and students opportunities to engage in more authentic, equitable and culturally relevant teaching and learning experiences. Each community member will revise or develop a renewable learning resource using open licensing structures to integrate into their fall 2021 course.
Our Webinars

Friday, Jan. 29 • 12 noon to 1:15 p.m. Eastern

Join NEBHE's panel of esteemed experts to discuss the far-reaching implications of WICHE's latest Knocking at the College Door report on high school demography and college enrollment. Panelists will include: report co-author Patrick Lane, vice president of WICHE's Policy & Research Division; Paul Reville, professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and former secretary of education in Massachusetts; G. Duncan Harris, CEO of Capital Community College in Hartford; Edinaldo Tebaldi, professor of economics at Bryant University; and Lisa Ellrich, director of admissions at the University of Maine Farmington and delegate to the National Association for College Admissions Counseling. To read NEBHE's New England analysis of the data, click here. To register for the webinar, click here.
Tracking Coronavirus
NEBHE's Tracking Coronavirus web resource features an easy-to-use display showing institutions' plans for the fall in light of COVID-19. It also details institutions' healthcare capacities and their proximity to external healthcare resources. Also find links to: COVID-19 News; Governmental Responses, Guidance & Advocacy; Distance Education Resources & Compliance; Institutional Finance Information; and Admissions and Enrollment Information. Please share updates from your institution at:
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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