the weekly digest from NEJHE and other news from the New England Board of Higher Education
May 25, 2022

Michael R. Laliberte withdrew as the next president of the University of Maine at Augusta (UMA) after the revelation that he had received a vote of no confidence from his former university, the State University of New York at Delhi, which led to a flurry of votes of no confidence within the University of Maine System. UMA Provost Joseph S. Szakas will continue to serve as the university's interim leader while a formal search is launched. ... UMass Dartmouth appointed University of North Texas College of Engineering Dean Hanchen Huang, a first-generation college student who earlier served on the faculty at Northeastern University, as the South Coast research university's next provost. ... 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: Joseph S. Szakas
ICYMI from The New England Journal of Higher Education ... in Light of this Week's Tragic Mass Shootings ...

The perspectives of today's students are shaped by hate crimes, terrorist attacks and mass shootings. "My students know about El Paso, Dayton, Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, Parkland, Pulse Nightclub, Thousand Oaks, Las Vegas, Tree of Life Synagogue, the Boston Marathon bombing, the Emanuel AME Church, among so many others," writes Christina Cliff, an assistant professor of political science & security studies at Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire. A self-described Cold War kid, Cliff explores teaching courses on political violence and terrorism to students in the post-9/11, mass-shootings generation. "My students didn’t just duck and cover under their K-12 school desks," she writes. "They learned to tie tourniquets, and have been taught how to block doors [and] how to stay silent in a coat closet."

In a matter of seconds, a student at a high school in Santa Clarita, California, injured and killed a handful of his fellow students and then shot himself. Despite the usual outpouring of support for survivors and displays of empathy, those in higher education often don't reflect on how these K-12 shootings affect us directly. Author and former Southern Vermont College President Karen Gross writes, "We don't consider how high school shootings will impact the college students we now have and the students we will have in the future--especially if we are geographically separated. It is as if we see the K-12 shootings as something that happens 'over there' with 'younger' students; meanwhile, we worry about a myriad of issues on our own campuses including potential shootings on campus, but also drug overdoses and sexual harassment." The school shootings will eventually land on college campuses in the stresses and past traumas that stuff students' "invisible backpacks." Regrettably, most colleges are not trauma-informed or trauma-responsive, Gross warns.
Tidbits from the NEJHE Beat ...

Brief items from the "NEJHE Beat"—that unique constellation of issues connected to higher education and also to social justice, economic and workforce development, regional cooperation, quality of life, academic research, workplaces and other topics that together say "NEJHE."
News Around NEBHE

Popular programs where RSP-eligible students enrolled in fall 2021 included homeland security, engineering technologies and health sciences ...

In its 64th year of enrollment, NEBHE's Tuition Break, the Regional Student Program (RSP), continued to enhance access and affordability for residents of the six New England states while helping to support enrollment at the region’s public colleges and universities. The 9,101 students enrolled in programs offered through the RSP in fall 2021 saved an estimated total of $64.8 million on their annual tuition bills. A full-time student saved an average of $8,600. Changes in RSP enrollment in fall 2021 compared favorably against changes in overall enrollment. Nationally, total enrollment at public and independent higher education institutions (HEIs) declined by 2.7% in fall 2021, following a 2.5% decrease in fall 2020, according to the National Student Clearinghouse’s (NSC) January 2022 report, Current Term Enrollment Estimates, Fall 2021. Total RSP enrollment in fall 2021 decreased by only 0.4%, and RSP enrollment increased at half of the participating institutions.
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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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