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Forbes featured President Marvin Krislov's latest column: "Congratulations, Class Of 2021! You Made It To Graduation, And Now There Are Jobs Waiting For You"

04/22/2021

Forbes featured President Marvin Krislov's latest column: "Congratulations, Class Of 2021! You Made It To Graduation, And Now There Are Jobs Waiting For You"

I’ve got some great news for the bold, brave Class of 2021: There are plenty of jobs out there for new college graduates.

This hasn’t been an easy year for any of us, least of all for this spring’s new crop of college graduates. They spent much of the last year learning remotely, socializing with precautions, missing out on many traditional college experiences. They are a committed, hard-working group; students who knew that the best way to prepare for success post-pandemic was to stay engaged and on-track with their studies. They’re earning their degrees thanks to a remarkable level of dedication and perseverance, and, across the country, many of them aren’t able to have the traditional commencement experience they might have hoped for.

But despite the year we’ve been through, despite the nagging persistence of the pandemic and the painful economic downturn from which we’re still not recovered, all signs suggest that employers are eager to hire this remarkable new group of college grads.

Indeed, employers anticipate hiring 7.2 percent more new college graduates from the Class of 2021 than they did from the Class of 2020, according to a recent report from the National Association of Colleges and Employers. That compares very well to a fall report, when employers predicted hiring slightly fewer college grads.

Read the full Forbes article. 

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Forbes featured President Marvin Krislov's latest column "International Students Are Coming Back To The US—and We Can’t Wait To Welcome Them Back"

03/25/2021

Forbes featured President Marvin Krislov's latest column "International Students Are Coming Back To The US—and We Can’t Wait To Welcome Them Back"

International Students Are Coming Back to the US—and We Can’t Wait to Welcome Them Back

International students are again clamoring to come to the United States.

That’s the word we’re getting from our international partners, and it’s the trend we’re starting to see in application and enrollment numbers. And it’s extraordinarily good news.

Higher education has long been one of this country’s great exports. Our colleges and universities are the envy of the world, and for many years—and especially recently, as the global middle class has grown—aspirational students from all corners of the globe have come to the United States to earn a college degree. They wanted an English-language education, and they especially wanted an American education.

But for the last four years, that American education hasn’t always been easy to obtain. The United States became conspicuously less open to foreigners during the previous administration. Visa restrictions were tightened. International students in some cases reported feeling less welcome in our cities and towns. As a result, the number of international students enrolling in American colleges and universities shrunk. And that prompted the concern that international students wouldn’t want to come to the United States anymore, even when policies changed.

Then came the pandemic, which necessarily prompted major travel restrictions and caused even further enrollment declines. A new report shows that the number of international students studying in the United States fell 18 percent last year, according to student visa records. Even worse, with US consulates worldwide shuttered by the pandemic, the number of visas issued for newly enrolled international students dropped a whopping 72 percent.

The double blow to international enrollment prompted an existential worry. With American colleges and universities less accessible even pre-pandemic, students from around the world had looked to other, more open English-speaking countries, like Australia and Canada. When the pandemic receded, would the next generation of international students look to the United States?

We’re now seeing that the answer is a resounding yes.

Simply put, they want to be here. Our recruitment partners tell us that the change in administration has created tremendous energy and excitement about studying in the United States. The trend is so new that there aren’t yet national numbers. At Pace University, we saw 200 new international students enroll for the Spring 2020 semester, despite continued travel restrictions. Right now, international graduate school applications at Pace are up 11 percent year-over-year—that is, above our pre-lockdown numbers. For undergraduates, inquiries are up 6 percent and applications are up 3 percent against a similar timeframe. We’re hopeful for a close-to-normal Fall 2021, and we anticipate numbers will increase as more and more restrictions are lifted.

They’re recommitting to American colleges and universities because they know we offer what even those other English-speaking countries cannot: the world’s best education, and the world’s most desired job opportunities. International students who come to the United States to study a STEM-related field also have the right to work in this country for up to three years after graduation—with no additional effort on the part of their employer. And there is a huge demand for international graduates in this country, especially in those STEM fields, where they provide much-needed talent that drives growth.

We’re ready to welcome this eager new cohort of international students.

Because as much as international students benefit from learning at American colleges and universities, they also bring unique advantages to our campuses and country, too.

In today’s globalized economy, learning alongside students from around the world helps our American students gain new perspectives and new interpersonal skills, making them better critical thinkers. It helps all of our students learn about other cultures and form more informed opinions. It helps them better understand international issues, foreign affairs, and immigration issues. It provides opportunities for unique cross-cultural experiences, whether celebrating new holidays, sampling new cuisines, or traveling to visit friends in their home countries. And it opens our students to connections that will benefit them throughout their careers.

Rolling out the welcome mat for international students is the ultimate win-win. It’s good for the students, good for our colleges and universities, good for our American students, and good for America’s standing in the world. These students want to be on our campuses. As the world opens back, let’s help them get here.

Read the Forbes article.

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Forbes featured President Marvin Krislov's latest column "The Pandemic Has Been Tough, But We’re Ready For What Comes Next"

02/18/2021

Forbes featured President Marvin Krislov's latest column "The Pandemic Has Been Tough, But We’re Ready For What Comes Next"

Last week, I delivered a State of the University address. The annual speech is a chance for me to look back at where we’ve been and look ahead to where we’re going. This year, it felt especially important to gather our community and take stock. And I realized that what we’ve gone through over the last year at Pace University is a microcosm for what we’ve gone through over the year as a country.

The past year has been hard—hard for us as individuals, hard for higher education, hard for our country. At colleges and universities across the country, we’ve dealt with remote education and remote life, with social distance and occasional lockdowns, with the risk of infection and, in some cases, positive cases. We’ve worried about keeping students on track in their studies, about maintaining enrollment, about balancing our budgets amid decreased revenue and increased costs.

And yet when I sat down to reflect on the year behind us, and to look at the one ahead, I found myself optimistic. What I saw was, in fact, a year of triumph. As it turns out, 2020 was a year that leaves me deeply optimistic for our future—not despite what we went through, but because of it. 

The last year reminded me that the people of Pace, like people across the country, are tough.

We didn’t give up. We didn’t give in. Some members of our community dealt with truly terrible situations—sickness, lost work, loneliness, even the loss of loved ones. We mourned the losses, we supported each other—and, most important, we kept working to meet our goals. I suspect this is what happened at colleges and universities nationwide.

Faculty had to pivot in the space of days to entirely new ways of teaching, even while dealing with enormous new obligations in their own lives. Staff and administrators kept the University operating, even as some had to come in every day to keep our systems running and our buildings secure. Our students never forgot the importance of working toward their degrees. Some faced barriers to travel, some faced financial hardship, some tested positive and had to be isolated. But they kept working, and they kept learning. 

And, looking back, I see that we got so much done.

Despite the pandemic, last spring we graduated 2,224 students.

Over the summer, nearly 2,200 new students went through virtual Orientation. And close to 700 faculty members signed up for training to learn how to maximize the possibilities of virtual instruction.

In the fall semester, we processed nearly 10,000 COVID-19 tests through our community testing program. So far this spring semester, we’ve processed another 5,000 and counting.

We hosted 224,714 Pace Zoom meetings since March of last year, with participants connecting from 168 countries and logging a total of 131,879,669 meeting minutes.

Across the country, everyone did what had to be done to make it through this tough year.

We all also kept doing everything we normally do. At Pace, faculty won grants. Students won awards. We recruited a new class of students. We brought on new deans. We raised money. We expanded our online offerings.

Taking stock of all those accomplishments, I know we’re ready to take on the challenges of moving forward. I think that’s true for all of us in this country.

Nationally, we’re ramping up vaccine distribution, and we’re raring to restart our economy. Here at Pace, we’re building an ambitious new strategic plan to move us forward. We’re renewing our commitment to building a University where everyone is included, and everyone is valued. Just last week, thanks to the tremendous generosity of our trustee Barry Gosin, CEO of the global real estate firm Newmark, we announced the Barry M. and Jackie Gosin Center for Equity and Inclusion at Pace University, which will serve as a hub for our work on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

We’re all ready to move forward.

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy promised to send Americans to the moon not because it was easy, he said, but because it was hard. Because it was a goal that would, he said, “serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills.”

This last year was hard, and it brought out the best of our energies and skills. Now it is time for our moonshot: To leverage that strength, to value our people, and to lift everyone up. To join together, focus our energies, and boldly move forward.

The lesson of the last year is that we can do it.

Read the Forbes article.

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The Hill featured President Marvin Krislov's column: "An 'upskill bill' can be the GI Bill for a post-COVID workforce"

02/01/2021

The Hill featured President Marvin Krislov's column: "An 'upskill bill' can be the GI Bill for a post-COVID workforce"

President Biden took office with four top priorities: combating COVID-19, rebuilding the economy, addressing racial inequity and fighting climate change. Starting right away, he has promised action to ramp up vaccine production and distribution and provide much needed support for families who are struggling.

One practical priority will help address all those goals: getting all of America, from all backgrounds, back to work — in the kinds of good-paying jobs that serve the needs of today and tomorrow and have proven resilient through the last year of pandemic. 

It’s why I believe Congress should include among its stimulus measures an 'upskill Bill', a major investment in higher education for all Americans. 

Just as the GI Bill changed America for the better in the decades after World War II, the upskill bill can transform America after the coronavirus, building an equitable workforce trained to address crucial challenges like healthcare and decarbonization. 

The last year has made clear the benefits accruing to the skilled workforce. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that only about five percent of service workers have been able to work from home, while more than half of information workers did. Beyond that, skilled workers didn’t see job losses in the same volume and it’s less likely that their jobs will simply no longer exist. Automation, artificial intelligence and machine learning were already threatening many unskilled jobs; the crisis has only accelerated that shift. 

This period has clarified things we’ve long known to be true. College graduates earn far more in their lifetimes than those without college degrees because the skills they learn in college — not just subject-specific expertise but also soft skills like critical thinking, leadership and communication — make them much more valuable to employers. Even some level of college education helps increase lifetime earnings and we’re increasingly seeing that those who already have degrees need and want new training to prepare them for different kinds of work.

Read the full Hill article.

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Forbes featured President Marvin Krislov's latest column: "New Year’s Resolutions From A College President"

01/04/2021

Forbes featured President Marvin Krislov's latest column: "New Year’s Resolutions From A College President"

It’s a virtual holiday season, and we’re getting ready for a social distant New Year’s Eve. There are some silver linings: Thanks to the magic of Zoom, I’ve been able to light Hanukkah candles with my kids scattered around the county. But, mostly, the dark and cold weather, with renewed lockdown restrictions and soaring infection rates, serves to underline what a long and rough year it’s been.

I’m also reminded again and again just how much I’m missing human connection. An out-of-the-blue email last minute prompted a new pang of regret, when a faculty colleague mentioned in passing that his parents had been sick with COVID. I hadn’t known, I hadn’t sent him my well wishes, and I felt terrible. I realized that without the everyday chats in corridors and on quads, walking into conference rooms and on the way out of receptions, we’re left with plenty of formal meetings but few person-to-person catchups. We’re losing track of each other, and what’s going on among friends, colleagues, and acquaintances.

In that spirit, I’m making some new year’s resolutions that I hope will reconnect me to all my communities—whether colleagues, congregation members, family, or old friends.

  1. Reach out. I’m going to make time to get in touch with the people I’ve missed seeing or speaking with. For me, that will mean reaching out to faculty, staff, students, and alumni, as well as family and friends. It doesn’t have to be a Zoom, although it could be. I’ll make phone calls, write emails, maybe even send some letters. Over the next two weeks, I’m going to make a list of people I miss connecting with, and in the new year I’ll try to reach out to at least one person a day.
  2. Seek other perspectives. We know it’s important to be open-minded and understanding. This year, it has become clear how much more work we all must do to fully live the values of diversity, equity and inclusion. At Pace University, we have our Presidential Task Force at work, identifying ways to make our institution anti-racist and ensure an improved experience for everyone in our community. On a personal level, I will commit to getting outside my comfort zone. Whether that means talking to new people, reading different publications, visiting new communities (once we can do so safely), I’ll make the effort to gain new perspectives.
  3. Be attentive to the world around me. It’s not just that we don’t understand other people and cultures; all too often, we slip into our habits and don’t really get to know the world right around us. In the new year, I want to make sure I break out of tunnel vision. That could mean volunteering in the community or getting involved in local organization. For me, as a college president, it means recommitting to involvement with local high schools, because we know education is most effective when it’s connected to the community. It means talking to employers and understanding their needs, because college students are the workforce of the future. I want to make sure I actively engage with the people and places around me.
  4. Break down international barriers. While the pandemic has kept so many of us safe at home, it has also served as a reminder that the world is irrevocably interconnected. Understanding other perspectives also means understanding other cultures. At Pace, we welcome students, faculty, and staff from around the world. As borders re-open and travel resumes, I want to make sure I’m doing everything I can to understand the wider world. And in this country of immigrants, I want Pace as an institution—and higher education everywhere—to recommit to the critical importance of international exchange.
  5. Be supportive. Even before the pandemic, college students were facing a mental health crisis. This grueling year has been emotionally draining for all of us. I know I, like all of us, need to take the time and focus to take care of myself. And I also know I need to look out for others, and listen to each other’s concerns. I want to be supportive for my friends and family, and for students, faculty, and staff. This semester, I taught two undergraduate courses. In the new year, I’ll be sure to reach out to those students, check in, and see how they’re doing.
  6. Read more, unrelated to work. I’ve done some of this, though not enough, and it has real helped preserve my own mental health. My 13-year-old cousin organized a Zoom family book club, and it has been a joy to watch for me to watch everyone in my extended family from my 90-year-old uncle and to my 6-month-old cousin on a regular basis while we discuss Animal Farm or the novel The Queen’s Gambit, set in the Kentucky town where I grew up. The key is to spend more time engaged with ideas—and away from screens.

Read the full Forbes article.

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