AICUM Blog
AICUM Recognizes Massachusetts Senate President Emerita Harriette Chandler at Annual Dinner

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Media Contact:

Cayenne Isaksen

(617) 646 1028

cisaksen@oneillandassoc.com

 

AICUM Recognizes Massachusetts Senate President Emerita Harriette Chandler at Annual Dinner

 

(Boston, MA) – December 6, 2018 – At its 14th Annual Dinner, the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts (AICUM) celebrated Senate President Emerita Harriette Chandler and her tenacious advocacy, tempered by civility, in support of higher education. AICUM President Richard Doherty was joined by Simmons University President Helen Drinan and Clark University President David Angel in honoring Senator Chandler with AICUM’s “Committed to Access Award.” In addition, AICUM recognized former Massport CEO Tom Glynn for his longstanding commitment to expanding international flight options at Logan International Airport, which serve the 68,000 international students currently studying in Massachusetts.

 

Doherty, Drinan, Chandler, Angel

 

Pictured (l-r): AICUM President Richard Doherty with Simmons University President Helen Drinan, Massachusetts State Senator and Senate President Emerita Harriette Chandler, and Clark University President David Angel. Photo courtesy of John Gillooly, Sr. 

 

The 2018 Annual Dinner was one of the most successful in AICUM’s history with over 350 attendees, including more than two dozen college and university presidents and representatives from nearly all 55 colleges and universities.

 

“I have graduated from Wellesley College, Clark University, and Simmons University, all institutions where I grew and developed as a leader, and all members of AICUM,” said Senate President Emerita Harriette L. Chandler (D-Worcester). “I am very grateful for this honor and for AICUM’s hard work on promoting and supporting colleges and universities and the pursuit of higher education. I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for my college experiences.”

 

“Senator Chandler’s eloquent remarks at our event mirrored the civility and deep knowledge and understanding of higher education policy matters which have characterized her extraordinary career in the public service” said AICUM president Richard Doherty.

 

Senator Chandler received her B.A. from Wellesley College, her MBA from Simmons Graduate School of Management and her M.A. and Ph.D from Clark University.

 

The Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts (AICUM) was founded by independent college presidents and today comprises 55 degree-granting, accredited independent colleges and universities in the Commonwealth. It is the leading voice on public policy matters affecting independent colleges and universities in Massachusetts. AICUM plays a critical role in advocating for college affordability, including state and federal funding for need-based student financial aid, federal research support and addressing state and Federal legislative and regulatory issues.

 

###

Posted in Post
Massachusetts remains a destination for international students

November 14, 2018

 

 

By Richard Doherty, AICUM President

 

 
Given the recent political discourse out of the Trump administration, it should come as no surprise that the number of international students coming to the United States for a college education is declining nationwide.  Between the travel ban, threats to withhold visas from certain countries, and the general tone regarding longstanding immigration policies, one can understand why international students and their families may be reluctant to venture to the United States for an education.

 

However, Massachusetts continues to buck this declining trend in international students.  According to the 2018 Open Doors Report, released yesterday by the Institute of International Exchange, Massachusetts is attracting international students in record numbers to attend colleges and universities throughout the state.  This sustained increase is the result of a tremendous effort from: our outstanding institutions of higher education to recruit international students and ensure they feel welcome on campus; our government leaders to continue to proclaim that Massachusetts is an open and welcoming state; the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau to brand Massachusetts as a destination for international students; and officials at MassPort to greatly increase the number of direct international flights at Logan to serve these students and their families.

 

According to the 2018 data, Massachusetts saw an 8.4 percent increase in the total number of international students, bringing the total number of international students up to 68,192.  This ranks 4th among all states – trailing only California, Texas and New York for total international student enrollment.  In 2017-2018, China and India were the leading countries of origin for international students in Massachusetts, with China representing 34.2 percent of international students and India representing 16.7 percent.

 

Nationally, new international student enrollments fell by 6.6 percent in the 2017-2018 academic year in the Open Doors Report.  Total international student enrollment, which includes international students currenting attending college and those remaining in the United States through students visas to participate in the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program, increased modestly by 1.5 percent.

 

International students and their families have a tremendous impact on Massachusetts, the colleges they attend, and the students they interact with.  The most obvious impact is the pure economic benefit through estimated international student expenditure in Massachusetts – which the 2018 Open Doors Report estimates at over $3 billion.  This figure represents the total spending from international students and their families – on everything from tuition to books, meals to hotels, and housing to transportation.  Spending by international students in their host communities, particularly for those attending colleges in smaller communities outside of Boston, have an enormous and outsized impact on the local economy.

 

However, the true impact of these students goes far beyond an economic impact analysis.  International students bring their culture and unique experiences with them onto campus and into the classroom.  This is an invaluable learning opportunity for all students – as it allows for an open cultural exchange of ideas in an academic setting.  Both international and domestic students are able to learn from each other and hopefully carry these lessons with them beyond graduation.

 

It is through this open exchange of ideas and information that the United States can once again demonstrate to the world that we are a welcoming and accepting country.  As our international students return to their home countries, they will represent our greatest “exports” from Massachusetts – a highly educated citizenry prepared to operate in the new global economy.

 

Posted in Post
Efforts to increase college student voting participation rates

October 30, 2018

 

 

By Richard Doherty, AICUM President

 

 

As America heads to the voting booth next week, the eyes of many candidates, pollsters and pundits will be on the turnout rates of young voters, particularly college students.  Younger voters, including college students, tend to vote at lower rates than older voters, and even more so in midterm (non-Presidential) elections.  In the most recent midterm election in 2014, only 18 percent of college-aged students voted, compared to about 37 percent of the overall population.  This consistently low turnout rate among college students prompted the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) to issue a “call to action” and begin a national discussion about how to better engage students in the voting process.

 

In response to DOE’s “call the action”, colleges and universities have taken on a leadership role in encouraging students to be more civic-minded and engaged in the electoral process.  In order to help institutions of higher education better understand the participation rates on their campuses, The Institute of Democracy & Higher Education (IDHE), part of the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University, has undertaken a national study of college voters.  The National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE) is working with over 1,000 campuses and 10 million student records in all 50 states to study student and institution-level data on student voting participation rates.

 

Following an election, participating colleges and universities receive a report that includes the student voting and registration rates for that election, any changes from the prior election, and voting rates by gender, enrollment status, program of study, etc.  In order to ensure student privacy, all data are deidentified and reported on an institution or aggregate basis.

 

In the 2016 Presidential election, Massachusetts saw one of the largest increases in student voting rates across institutions.  As the 64 participating Massachusetts colleges and universities analyze the data from their specific NSLVE report, faculty and staff can better understand what segments on campus are not participating in elections and develop messaging to help encourage civic-minded practices from those groups.  Working from this data, NSLVE has developed 10 recommendations for campuses to help increase college student voting, including:

 

  • Establish voter registration drives and on-campus polling locations;
  • Offer courses and learning opportunities on the history and current state of voting;
  • Create a permanent coalition on campus tasked with leading student mobilization efforts from one election to the next; and
  • Use NSLVE data and the upcoming elections to engage the campus community in current events discussions.

In addition to the wealth of data available from the NSLVE project, colleges and universities are getting creative in encouraging students to register and vote in upcoming elections.  One such approach is the All IN Campus Democracy Challenge, which encourages colleges and universities to join NSLVE, develop an action plan to increase student voting rates and track their progress.  Institutions will be recognized for joining the challenge and those that achieve student voting rates of 50 percent or above will earn special distinction and awards.

 

In our increasingly divided nation, it is more important than ever that college students are encouraged to participate fully in our democratic processes and exercise their right to vote.  Colleges and universities have recognized their role in promoting this important civic responsibility and are committed to graduating well-informed, civically engaged students.  I, for one, am encouraged by the early data from the NSLVE showing increases in student voting from 2012 to 2016 and look forward to reviewing the data from the 2018 midterms, which hopefully will show a similar increase over 2014 midterm participation rates.

 

Posted in Post
AICUM Featured on WGBH’s Greater Boston

AICUM President Richard Doherty joined Emerson College President Lee Pelton on WGBH’s Greater Boston, hosted by Jim Braude, recently to discuss the impact of the GOP tax proposals on higher education institutions and the students they serve.

Check out the video below and let us know your thoughts on the issues!

 

Posted in Post
Statement from the Board of Directors, Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts, on the Recent Executive Order Concerning Immigration

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 30, 2017

 

Statement from the Board of Directors, Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts, on the Recent Executive Order Concerning Immigration

 

As leaders of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts (AICUM), we voice our deep concern with the Administration’s Executive Order introducing severe travel restrictions to the United States that impact members of our college communities.

 

This executive order has caused understandable confusion and concern both on our campuses and internationally. This order impacts our students, our faculty, our alumni and partners throughout the world. It also poses a risk to our Commonwealth’s knowledge based economy which relies on and benefits from a highly talented international student and researcher community.

 

Massachusetts has a well-earned reputation as a beacon of freedom and education for people around the world. This executive order represents an affront to the free exchange of ideas, scientific discovery, religious freedom, and democratic principles which are the touchstone of our colleges and universities.

 

Now is the time to reaffirm those values of American higher education and embrace our global community.

 

The Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts (AICUM) was founded by independent college presidents and today comprises 58 degree-granting, accredited independent colleges and universities in the Commonwealth. It is the leading voice on public policy matters affecting independent colleges and universities in Massachusetts. AICUM plays a critical role in advocating for college affordability, including state and federal funding for need-based student financial aid, federal research support and addressing state and Federal legislative and regulatory issues.

###

Posted in Post
AICUM Recognizes Governor Baker and State Senator Donoghue for Leadership on New College Savings Incentive

At its 12th Annual Dinner, the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts (AICUM) celebrated the Commonwealth’s new 529 College Savings Plan incentive for families which was passed by the Legislature this past summer. Governor Charlie Baker received AICUM’s “Committed to Access” Award for advancing 529s as part of his Economic Development bill and State Senator Eileen Donoghue, the legislative sponsor of the 529 provision, delivered keynote remarks. A video testimonial on the story of the 529 legislations can be seen on YouTube, here.

 

The 2016 Annual Dinner was the largest in AICUM’s history with over 400 attendees, including 31 college and university presidents, and Massachusetts Education Secretary Jim Peyser.

 

“I am deeply grateful for the award by AICUM and thank them for their leadership and voice in representing private independent colleges and universities throughout the Commonwealth,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “In Massachusetts we are proud to have an exceptional mix of world-renowned public and private institutions that we value greatly.”

 

“Providing Massachusetts families with a new incentive to save for education took enormous leadership and commitment from our state leaders,” said AICUM President Richard Doherty. “Our dinner, with nearly all our 58 colleges and universities in attendance, was the ideal venue to give a special honor to Governor Baker and Senator Donoghue for their hard work in moving this legislation forward. College savings tax incentives are proven to encourage families to start saving earlier and more frequently for their children’s education. We are also very grateful to Senate President Stan Rosenberg, House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Senator Michael Rodrigues, Representative Jay Kaufman and Representative Joseph Wagner for their critical leadership and support in bringing 529s to Massachusetts.”

 

“AICUM has been a tireless advocate for Massachusetts students and their families, and I’m proud that my legislative colleagues and I were able to work with AICUM to make this college savings tax incentive a reality,” said Sen. Eileen Donoghue. “Working families face tight budgets, so saving for college can be difficult. This deduction is a tool that will help them send their kids to college to receive a degree and a brighter future, rather than a crushing mountain of debt.”

 

The 529 College Savings provision of the Economic Development Bill signed into law by Governor Baker in August establishes a new tax incentive for a prepaid tuition or college savings program established by the state. Single filers will be able to deduct $1,000 while married people filing jointly can deduct up to $2,000.

 

Posted in Post
STATEMENT: AICUM Applauds Passage of Economic Development Legislation that Includes Key College Savings Incentive

 

The Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts (AICUM) applauds Sunday’s passage of an economic development bill that includes the creation of a tax deduction for a key college savings program. A provision in the bill creates a tax incentive to encourage families to save for higher education through contributions to qualified college savings plans, known as 529s.

 
Low and middle-income families stand to benefit as this tax deduction for the popular college savings provision becomes law. According to a recent study, 72 percent of households nationwide participating in 529 savings programs make less than $150,000 a year. A recent MassInsight survey, conducted by Opinion Dynamics, demonstrated that 76 percent of Massachusetts respondents would support a tax deduction for contributions to college savings plans. By implementing this provision, Massachusetts will join the vast majority of income tax states in using these incentives to help families save for the future.

 

Following the economic development bill’s passage, AICUM president Richard Doherty released the below statement:

 
“Through the creation of this college savings tax incentive, House and Senate members have demonstrated a tremendous commitment to helping Massachusetts families save for the future. College savings tax incentives open doors for children growing up in low and middle income families, as they are proven to encourage families to start saving earlier and more frequently for their children’s education.

 
Aside from the countless benefits that college savings incentives have for students looking to attend college and graduate with manageable loans, these incentives also benefit our entire economy. Everyone wins when students can attend college and invest more of their post-college earnings back into the economy. Passing an economic development bill that includes college savings incentives is one of the best ways the legislature could have helped Massachusetts families now and in the future. I want to especially thank Senate President Stan Rosenberg, House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Senator Eileen Donoghue, and Representative Joseph Wagner for their leadership in promoting this incentive and recognizing its impact on continued economic development in the Commonwealth.”

 
###

 
The Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts (AICUM) was founded by independent college presidents and today comprises 58 degree-granting, accredited independent colleges and universities in the Commonwealth. It is the leading voice on public policy matters affecting independent colleges and universities in Massachusetts. AICUM plays a critical role in advocating for college affordability, including state and federal funding for need-based student financial aid, federal research support and addressing state and Federal legislative and regulatory issues.

Posted in Post
Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts (AICUM) Applauds Economic Development Legislation for Inclusion of Key College Savings Provision

An economic development bill released by the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies today includes a measure to incentivize families to save for college.

 
The bill is the Committee’s redraft of an economic development bill filed by Governor Baker in January.

 
The college savings proposal would offer Massachusetts families a state tax deduction on contributions made to college savings plans, such as 529s, to incentivize saving for future college expenses.

 
College savings tax incentives are offered by the vast majority of income-tax states. Massachusetts is one of only eight income-tax states currently not offering this college-savings tool to the low and middle-income families that can benefit from it. According to a recent study, 72 percent of households nationwide participating in 529 savings programs make less than $150,000 a year. A recent MassInsight survey, conducted by Opinion Dynamics, demonstrated that 76 percent of Massachusetts respondents would support a tax deduction for contributions to college savings plans.

 
Following the bill’s unveiling by the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies, AICUM president Richard Doherty released the below statement:

 
“We are thrilled that Chairwoman Eileen Donoghue, Chairman Joseph Wagner and their colleagues on the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies are promoting this proven college savings incentive. As a state known for the quality of its higher education, Massachusetts should be leading the way when it comes to college affordability and the college savings tools that we offer our low and middle-income families.

 
Not only are college savings tax incentives the right thing to do for students and families, but the whole state benefits when students graduate with manageable student loans and are able to invest more of their post-college earnings back into the economy. The economic development impact of 529 college savings incentives are proven. They encourage families to start saving earlier and more often, and children are far more likely to attend college knowing that their family is saving for their college education. We applaud this effort to offer an important college savings tool to low and middle-income families, and we are hopeful that the proposal comes to fruition.”

 
###
The Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts (AICUM) was founded by independent college presidents and today comprises 58 degree-granting, accredited independent colleges and universities in the Commonwealth. It is the leading voice on public policy matters affecting independent colleges and universities in Massachusetts. AICUM plays a critical role in advocating for college affordability, including state and federal funding for need-based student financial aid, federal research support and addressing state and Federal legislative and regulatory issues.

Posted in Post
AICUM Featured on NECN’s DC Dialogue

AICUM President Richard Doherty joined NECN’s DC Dialogue hosts Eileen Curran and New England Council President Jim Brett last week to discuss college affordability and the economic impact of commencement season.  Among the topics discussed, Rich provided comment on the upcoming commencement season, legislation pending in the Massachusetts Legislature to provide a tax deduction to families saving for college, important tax benefits made permanent by Congress, and the benefits of a gap year before college.

 

Check out the video below and let us know your thoughts on the issues!

 

 

Posted in Post
Business Community Offers Support for 529 Legislation

A broad coalition of business groups and chambers of commerce joined AICUM in sending a letter to House Ways and Means Chairman Brian Dempsey supporting legislation to create a state tax deduction for contributions that Massachusetts families make to their 529 college savings plans.

 

AICUM was joined on the letter by the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce; Springfield Regional Chamber of Commerce, South Shore Chamber of Commerce, Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, Massachusetts High Technology Council; and the Massachusetts Business Roundtable.

 

A copy of the joint letter can be view here.

 

Posted in Post