the weekly digest from NEJHE and other news from the New England Board of Higher Education
Sept. 21, 2022
This morning's NEJHE NewsBlast included some broken links. The links are restored here. As always, thanks for reading ... JOH

Smith College selected Swarthmore College Provost and Dean of the Faculty Sarah Willie-LeBreton to be the 12th president of the Seven Sisters and Five Colleges institution in Northampton, Mass. A sociologist, Willie-LeBreton studies social inequality and race and ethnicity. She is the author of Acting Black: College, Identity, and the Performance of Race. ... Curry College President Kenneth K. Quigley Jr. announced he will retire in summer 2023, after serving as president since 1996. ... Berkshire Innovation Center (BIC) named career coach and Roger Williams University Assistant Professor of Industrial Technology Dennis Rebelo to the new position of chief learning officer, where he will integrate educational programming and community learning opportunities and help launch the BIC Manufacturing Academy, a U.S. Commerce Department-funded initiative the center is building with MIT, the Mass Tech Collaborative and local partners. ... Kia Jing Tan, the CFO of China-based Ambow Education, which owns Boston’s for-profit Bay State College, resigned after more than a year of declining enrollment and financial struggles. ... 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: Sarah Willie-LeBreton

U.S. Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) and U.S. Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI) announced a $1 million federal earmark, through fiscal 2022 appropriations, to support University of Rhode Island research on the polluting effects of microplastics in land and sea. ... Eighteen Senate Democrats sent a letter to the U.S. Education Department commending proposed Title IX rules and urging that the government expand protections for trans students and survivors of sexual assault. ... Read the latest from NEJHE's DC Shuttle, featuring national news drawn from our friends at the New England Council.

Pictured: From left, U.S. Rep. Jim Langevin, URI President Marc B. Parlange and U.S. Sen. Jack Reed. (Photo courtesy of Sen. Jack Reed’s Office.)
Tidbits from the NEJHE Beat ...
Blasts from the Past ... ICYMI from The New England Journal of Higher Education ...

Gallup and Strada Education Network, formerly USA Funds, examined nearly 90,000 interviews of U.S. adult education consumers to shape their report "On Second Thought: U.S. Adults Reflect on Their Education Decisions." The report details whether or not these consumers would take the same educational path—same degree, same major, same institution—if they had the opportunity to do it all over again. "Surprisingly, more than half (51%) of U.S. adults say they would change at least one aspect of their education path," wrote Strada's then-President Bill Hansen. "Most notably, 36% of people would change their field of study, while 28% would choose a different school; and 12% would pursue a different degree."

More and more higher education institutions are freeing up shelf space in their libraries and urging members of the academic community to meet, talk, research and incubate new ideas collaboratively as well as to engage in more traditional activities. Nancy Carriuolo, then-president of Rhode Island College, and the college's then-library director Tovah Reis explained how they worked with students, library staff and other stakeholders to deselect printed materials and create new space for student services and collaboration.
News Around NEBHE
NEBHE and The Educational Justice Institute (TEJI) at MIT have launched the New England Commission on the Future of Higher Education Behind Bars. More than 201,800 people are incarcerated, on parole or on probation in New England. Incarcerated people who participate in higher education behind bars are 48% less likely to recidivate than those who do not, according to a report by the national organization Vera Institute of Justice. Other studies have shown that, while many prison education programs have profound impacts, their effectiveness is increased by aligning resources, stakeholders and policies. For example, turnover and transfer between prisons and jails results in many incarcerated students being unable to finish courses and degree programs. And a silver lining of the Covid-19 pandemic has been the development of synchronous distance learning technologies to reach incarcerated students. The NEBHE and TEJI Commission—funded with a $250,000 grant from the Ascendium Foundation—will formally convene approximately 60 individuals throughout New England who represent key stakeholders to explore such issues. Commission members will include postsecondary and corrections leaders, current and previously incarcerated individuals, employers, legislators and governors. The Commission will work for approximately 12 months, then release a formal report providing specific recommendations for state policy and higher education institutions, departments of correction, public-private partnerships and multistate or regional initiatives.
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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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