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Two academic leaders stood shoulder to shoulder on Wednesday, October 5October 6, 2011
University leaders in Metrowest area call for change in higher ed
Two academic leaders stood shoulder to shoulder on Wednesday, October 5, and outlined the future of higher education at Regis College and at Brandeis University – and, by implication, across the region and the nation. The occasion was the inauguration of Antoinette Hays, PhD, RN, as the tenth president of Regis. Dr. Lisa Lynch, Dean of the Heller School at Brandeis, was speaking on behalf of the state’s academic community and receiving an honorary degree from Regis for her work in economics.
Noting that, “For almost 85 years Regis has been a significant educator in our region,” Lynch warned that “as new technologies transform how, when, and where people can learn, as our population ages and more people realize that they need to return to school to reinvest in their human capital, and as households struggle to find the financial means to invest in more education,” universities must use new technologies to make education affordable and accessible and to further lifelong learning.”
New models, she said, would create global-linked classrooms, and the challenge, in the face of that, is to preserve and extend a traditional sense of community essential to the learning process. One way to do that is to re-imagine “partnerships in the community around you.”
Her words echoed one of the themes of President Hay’s inaugural address, “Daunting Challenges, Creative Opportunities.” In it, she said that “Regis is resolutely committed to partnerships. Partnerships are the wave of the future. Indeed, they are the tide on which Regis is already sailing.”
“Because of the rapid expansion and multiplication of knowledge – biotechnology, biochemistry, cultural anthropology, public health -even the most eminent and comprehensive colleges and universities can no longer offer everything to everybody,” she added. “Our world is changing, and its daunting challenges must become our creative opportunities together. Internally and externally, we can share our strengths, and colleges and universities are already reaching out and working together.”
Regis and Brandeis recently teamed up to allow students to take courses at each other’s campuses. Regis also partners with hospitals and biotech companies as well as other colleges and universities, especially in social work and nursing, and partners with the non-profit world in language learning.
Hays also emphasized the significance of sustaining student-centered higher education today and creating interdisciplinary avenues so that students can meet the challenges of an interdisciplinary thinking in our society.
Over forty delegates from colleges and universities in New England and beyond were in attendance, as were Regis trustees, faculty, students and staff. In the morning, Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, OFM Cap., offered a Mass of Thanksgiving.
Regis College is a Catholic co-educational community that prepares undergraduate, graduate and continuing education students for engagement and service in a changing world. In the School of Liberal Arts, Education and Social Sciences and the School of Nursing, Sciences and Health Professions, approximately 1,800 students are enrolled in 20 undergraduate majors; 10 interdisciplinary pathways toward professional success; and master’s degree programs in education, communication, health administration, regulatory and clinical research management, and nursing, and a doctoral program in nursing practice. U.S. News and World Report ranks Regis in the top tier of universities with master’s programs in the North. The College is listed by the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) among benchmarking colleges for the quality of educational experience. With a strategic graduate focus on health care, Regis College was recently named a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education by the National League of Nursing. The College also provides accredited pre-school and kindergarten programs and a Life Long Learning Program (LLARC) for retired seniors.
Contact: Marjorie Arons-Barron, firstname.lastname@example.org; 617-423-7770