the weekly digest from NEJHE and other news from the New England Board of Higher Education
July 21, 2021

In racing lingo, “DNF” stands for “Did Not Finish.” While some may object to characterizing change in higher education as a "race," the reality is that higher ed institutions that can't adapt to competitive realities fast enough may not survive, writes Todd J. Leach, the chancellor emeritus of the University System of New Hampshire and former chair of NEBHE. Citing the highly publicized tenure fight of Nikole Hannah-Jones as an example, Leach explains why getting to the finish line in changing higher ed takes much more than horsepower.

UMass Lowell Chancellor Jacquie Moloney announced she will step down as chancellor in June 2022 after six years as chancellor and, before that, eight years as executive vice chancellor, in her 37-year tenure at the university. ... Bay Path University appointed Dr. Ann Errichetti, a cardiologist and healthcare management expert as the associate provost and dean of its School of Education, Human and Health Services. ... See more on these and other changes in NEJHE's "Comings and Goings" tally of new appointments in New England higher ed and beyond.

Pictured: Jacquie Moloney

The U.S. Department of Education announced temporary changes to the federal student aid verification process for the 2021–22 award year. The temporary changes are intended to help students and colleges facing challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and will require less verification for many students. The department will focus aid verification on identity theft and fraud for the 2021–22 application cycle, reducing other barriers that have prevented students most in need, from accessing critical financial aid funds. ... Read the latest from NEJHE's DC Shuttle, featuring national news drawn from our friends at the New England Council.

The New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE), supported by an eight-month planning grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundation and the Teagle Foundation, is slated to begin scaling the New England Transfer Guarantee (the Guarantee) to Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont this month.The northern expansion of the Guarantee is an extension of the current initiative, which was implemented in both Massachusetts and Connecticut in early 2020, with Rhode Island slated for fall 2021.

More from The New England Journal of Higher Education

In 2013, three Black women, sick and tired of the growing number of Black lives lost to murder, and spurred by the recent acquittal of George Zimmerman for the killing of Trayvon Martin, formed Black Lives Matter (BLM). The BLM movement went worldwide with its marches, sit-ins and protests, as more names were added to the list with Trayvon: Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Philando Castile, Sandra Bland, Freddie Gray. ... When the COVID-19 pandemic made in-person demonstrations impossible, young people found another way to raise their voices: online. Sara Jean-Francois, assistant director of NEBHE’s Tuition Break program, who has researched race-conscious campuses and recently earned her master’s degree from Brandeis University's Heller School for Social Policy and Management, explains how, among other adaptations, BLM led to the Instagram handle, "@Blackat (insert an institution)." As Jean-Francois reminds readers, the language seems to reinforce the racist system in which higher education was built: "Many higher education institutions emerged at a time when the U.S. education system lawfully excluded students of color—gave them a separate and an inherently unequal system, and forced them to believe the myth of their inferiority."

Donald Brown has a soft spot for Jimmy Ruffin's 1966 soul ballad “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted?” He says he and his Black classmates' hearts were broken half a century ago at their alma mater, Springfield College. In 1969, several of them took over the administration building to air their grievances and, the following year, occupied a dormitory. Those who participated in the dorm takeover were suspended from the college. Brokenhearted, most of them walked away from Springfield College not to be heard from again for 50 years. Brown himself went on to lead the Office of AHANA Student Programs at Boston College to help African American, Hispanic, Asian and Native American students succeed, as he described in this 2002 edition of NEJHE's successor, Connection. The racial tumult of 2020 brought it all back. Brown connected with other Springfield occupiers and they soon began meeting with current leaders of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) students at the college, who, it turns out, also have grievances. They created a group called the Legacy Alumni of Color. And they crafted an 18-page report entitled: “Legacy Alumni of Color: A Blueprint for Change” with key recommendations. Brown and Sherry Earle, a fellow Springfield College alum and now teacher of gifted children in Newtown, Conn., explain what's becoming of the Springfield brokenhearted.
Coming Soon from The New England Journal of Higher Education
A NEJHE Q&A with Richard Haass

Watch for an exclusive NEJHE Q&A featuring Council on Foreign Relations President Richard N. Haass opining on the future of globalization and higher education with NEBHE President Michael K. Thomas and NEJHE Executive Editor John O. Harney. Among Haass's mantras: "Universities have departments but the world doesn't." He believes in interdisciplinary thinking. And he believes higher ed is ripe for disruption.
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We seek an intern for the fall 2021 and spring 2022 semesters to support NEBHE’s Regional Student Program, Tuition Break. The internship requires a commitment of 10-20 hours per week (negotiable). This is a paid position with preference for a student that is eligible for Federal Work Study. A successful intern will be a graduate student or upper-class undergraduate student who can effectively research and communicate detailed and technical information. To apply, eligible candidates should email a cover letter and resume to with a subject line of “RSP Internship.” See full position description here.

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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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