the weekly digest from NEJHE and other news from the New England Board of Higher Education
March 3, 2021

We know that students who use "open textbooks" instead of commercial textbooks save money, and that adopting so-called OER (open educational resources) can enhance equity and pedagogy. But what incentives are there for faculty and others to create such "open" scholarly products? In this latest installment of NEJHE's OER Practitioner Perspectives series, Andrew McKinney, OER coordinator at the City University of New York (CUNY), and Amanda Coolidge, director of Open Education at BCcampus in British Columbia, Canada, explore the role of open educational resources activity in the tenure and promotion process. They explain how a collaborative of public higher education systems called Driving OER Sustainability for Student Success (DOERS3) has convened OER professionals to brainstorm some possible solutions to this tenure and promotion challenge. One product is an OER Contributions Matrix. Its goal: to empower faculty, staff and administrators to make OER initiatives more sustainable and ingrained in the cultures of their institutions.
More from The New England Journal of Higher Education

"I love being a Black woman," writes Southern New Hampshire University innovation expert Keisha Venson Sheedy. "I am awed by how powerful Black woman are and how unspeakably overlooked we have been because of it—consider Stacey Abrams and Keisha Lance Bottoms. Whether you agree with their politics or not, they have shown us that leading humans to and through change requires emergent thinking, creativity leaps and a loving ability to envision a more democratized future." Sheedy explains: "As education leaders, we must lead the team we have through a world of change we don’t choose, as opposed to the change we might be able to control. It is time for us to have a more constructive relationship with change."
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

TIAA named JPMorgan Chase CEO of Consumer Banking Thasunda Brown Duckett to succeed Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., as president and CEO of the century-old provider of retirement investments and other financial services for people working in the academic, research, medical, cultural and government fields.

Pictured: Thasunda Brown Duckett

U.S. House committees have been forging a relief and stimulus package worth up to $1.9 trillion to address the economic devastation exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the latest from NEJHE's DC Shuttle, featuring national news drawn from our friends at the New England Council.

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.

As Americans grapple with one of the most severe recessions in history, there's new appreciation of the many different pathways to gainful employment. This month, Credential Engine released its third Counting Credentials report, which curated a list of 967,734 unique credentials available through U.S. secondary and postsecondary education institutions—an increase of 31% from the 738,428 credentials published in its 2019 report.

Congress voted in December to lift the 26-year-old ban on federal Pell Grants for incarcerated students. Their bipartisan effort, in a time when such consensus is rare, reflects growing acknowledgement of the need for increased education in prisons and jails across the U.S. NEBHE's Policy and Research team this week released a brief on the subject called Higher Education Behind Bars: Expanding Postsecondary Educational Programs in New England Prisons and Jails.
News Around NEBHE

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
We seek an Assistant Director, Regional Student Program, to support the ongoing success and operation of the New England Board of Higher Education’s Regional Student Program, Tuition Break, and other student enrollment-focused initiatives and projects. Qualified candidates may submit a cover letter and resume to
Our Webinars
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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