the weekly digest from NEJHE and other news from the New England Board of Higher Education
July 28, 2021

College students use both formal and informal processes when deciding which courses to take. They often get course-registration advice through on-campus “institutional” resources as well as off-campus “non-institutional” resources. Michael Dunlop, an instructor at Suffolk University’s Sawyer Business School, describes a study he conducted with a student in his Data and Decisions Analysis course on formal and informal processes in course selection. They also examined the website Rate My Professors (RMP), confirming evidence of the popularity of RMP as a resource that college students use in making course-selection decisions.

The U.S. House Rules Committee debated controversial provisions in the Labor-HHS-Education spending bill, including Republican-backed proposals restricting federal funding of abortion under health programs such as Medicaid, targeting the Wuhan lab for its role in the pandemic, banning the teaching of critical race theory and use of education funds to hire diversity or inclusion consultants, and reversing a provision that would allow participants in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to receive Pell Grants. ... Read the latest from NEJHE's DC Shuttle, featuring national news drawn from our friends at the New England Council.

Amy K. Donahue, formerly vice provost for academic operations at the University of Connecticut, became the first provost of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. ... Northern Essex Community College chose former New York City teacher and principal Paul Beaudin, who is currently vice president for academic affairs and interim vice president for student affairs at Suffolk County Community College in the State University of New York (SUNY) system, to be the Massachusetts community college’s next vice president of academic affairs. ... 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: Amy K. Donahue
ICYMI from The New England Journal of Higher Education
Considering this week's launch of the Jan. 6 insurrection hearings in D.C. ...

Jan. 6, 2021 marked a day in American history that no one imagined happening: a modern-day civil war riot. The attack on the U.S. Capitol left many people angry, worried and confused … NEBHE Senior Fellow Charles Desmond and environmental expert Thomas Jorling, both advisors to the law firm Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP, explain why the real heroes were the "dedicated individuals, many of whom are volunteers, [who] check voter registration lists, distribute and oversee collection ballots, monitor the physical security of the ballot boxes and machines and count ballots, all with a profound sense of the critical importance of the process." Desmond and Jorling add: "Unlike the president and his enablers, these workers, and the thousands who stood in line for hours to exercise the right to vote, revere our Constitution and the central role free and fair elections play in assuring the future of this country we call the United States of America. These patriotic citizens do not seek recognition; they consider it their civic duty to assist in ensuring that each federal, state or local election adds to the promise of government of, by and for the people."

Just as Robert Mueller's congressional testimony marked a historic day for American democracy, NEJHE talked civic engagement and elections with Nancy Thomas, director of the Institute for Democracy & Higher Education at Tufts University's Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life. In a NEJHE Q&A, Executive Editor John O. Harney asks Thomas about issues in active citizenship, youth voting, red-blue divisions, the impact of social media on politics and the role of higher education. Says Thomas: "Colleges and universities not only need to teach what a strong democracy looks like and why students have a responsibility to work for democracy's health and future, but also need to enable student activism on electoral reform. They need to teach students how to run for office or how to effectuate policy change through laws and ballot initiatives. Students need to get involved in changing systems that underrepresent and disempower most groups of Americans."

Pictured: Nancy Thomas
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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