Spotlight Story

College president is setting the pace

01/2018
HEALTHY START—Berea College President Lyle Roelofs encourages the campus community to jog or walk with him before classes two days a week. Along with getting to know students, running helps Roelofs make big decisions about leading his institution.

BEREA, KENTUCKY—President Lyle Roelofs likes to buy running shoes for his students at Berea College—as long as they get some exercise with him twice weekly before class. Starting at 7 a.m., students—along with faculty, staff and community members—can run four miles with him or walk two with his wife.

Roelofs, a physicist, started such a club informally when he was dean of faculty and interim president at Colgate University in New York. He also saw a pressing need for it when he arrived on campus in Kentucky’s Appalachian foothills in 2012.

Berea, though private, enrolls only young people whose families make less than $29,000 per year.

From UB

Outside the administration: A president’s hobbies

February, 2018

Knitting: Lyle Roelofs, the son of a Protestant preacher, knits sweaters with a pattern of cascading hearts he believes is unique. It’s a passion his mother taught him. Though he also makes scarves, mittens and socks for friends, family and their pets, it’s a solitary hobby—he doesn’t post on any of the online bulletin boards that draw large numbers of knitters.

Pop-up higher ed courses respond to events in real time

February, 2018
TIMELY TOPIC—Students analyzed one another’s digital profiles in a pop-up class titled “Thriving in a Digital World” at St. Michael’s College in Vermont. Campus IT members Erik Lightbod and Chris Lei (at podium) taught the free class, which offered students a single credit in fall 2017.

An the last few years, a handful of higher ed institutions have offered multisession “pop-up courses” that faculty can design quickly for students who want to earn credit for studying events in real time.

Higher ed industry news: Over 100 schools join ScholarNet for Private Loans network

January, 2018

Over 100 schools have joined Great Lakes Educational Loan Services’ ScholarNet for Private Loans network this past year to connect with lenders.

Slideshow of wall of recognition displays

January, 2018
The Alumni Spotlight wall at Thomas College in Maine features alumni who have achieved personal and professional success and who have led and served their communities. A rotating display created in 2016, it hangs in the main building across from the Professional and Career Development Office.

Despite the big push for STEM majors and career-focused skills in recent years, the liberal arts seem to be making a resurgence.

Liberal arts degree programs in 2016 ranked No. 1 for most completions as well as for the biggest increase in completions, higher ed consulting firm Gray Associates found in a recent analysis of IPEDS preliminary data.

Higher ed liberal arts degrees on the upswing

January, 2018

Despite the big push for STEM majors and career-focused skills in recent years, the liberal arts seem to be making a resurgence.

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