the weekly digest from NEJHE and other news from the New England Board of Higher Education
June 9, 2021

Researchers project that by the year 2036, more than half of all graduating public high school students in the U.S. will be "minority" (28% Hispanic, 13% Black, 8% Asian and Pacific Islander and 6% multiracial). It's yet another wake-up call for America's predominantly white institutions (PWIs)by far, the largest group of higher ed institutions in the country. If these PWIs--Historically White Colleges and Universities (HWCUs) if you willcontinue to center whiteness culture as the premise for all else, they will face their own racial reckoning, writes Sara Jean-Francois, assistant director of NEBHE’s Tuition Break program. Jean-Francois, who recently earned her master’s degree from Brandeis University's Heller School for Social Policy and Management, has researched race-conscious campuses. "The hard truth," Jean-Francois notes, "is that traditional PWIs do not adequately make space for the cultures, knowledge base and languages of students of color, though these institutions often are the ones that can afford to financially support students of color and those who come from low-income backgrounds or are the first in their families to attend college."

Tufts University appointed special sheriff and superintendent of the Suffolk County (Massachusetts) Sheriff's Department Yolanda Smith to be its next executive director of public safety, which includes the role of chief of the Tufts University Police Department. One of her priorities will be to follow the recommendations of a Working Group on Campus Safety and Policing created as part of the Tufts commitment to be an antiracist institution.

Pictured: Yolanda Smith

From time to time, NEJHE revives the presentation of facts and figures called “Data Connection” that we had published quarterly for nearly 20 years in the print editions of The New England Journal of Higher Education, formerly known as Connection. Among the recent data points: Women surged from 24% of medical students nationwide in 1978 to 51% in 2019. But in the same period, the Black male share of medical students shrank from 3.1% to 2.9%.
Our Webinars
News Around NEBHE

We seek an Associate Director for the New England State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) to lead implementation, management and oversight of this reciprocal program in the NEBHE region. SARA provides a platform for states within the NEBHE Compact to—upon application and demonstration of certain criteria—enter into reciprocity for authorizing individual colleges and universities to provide postsecondary education courses and programs through the internet or via other distance modalities to students living in other states. Please see the job description here and send your application to

To subscribe to The Monthly Policy Dispatch, click here or contact NEBHE Associate Director of Policy Research and Analysis Stephanie Murphy at
Tracking Coronavirus: A Deep Dive
NEBHE has been 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
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.
Fusion Course
Enhancing Education Through Community-Based Learning
With the COVID-19 outlook brightening, now is the time for faculty to get critical training and support as you continue to adapt to evolving online, hybrid or in-person teaching and learning this fall. Regardless of the setting, the Fusion Course offers instruction for how to integrate community engagement methodologies into existing curricula to improve the quality of course delivery and foster student engagement.

Two sessions are offered this Summer!
June 7 - June 11
June 21 - June 25

Free for members from New England!
(Space Permitting)
Questions? Contact

The Fusion Project is made possible by a grant from the Davis Educational Foundation to Maine Campus Compact.
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