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Published Articles

by President Margee Ensign


Inside Higher Ed

Restoring America’s Place in the World

"In this op-ed by Dickinson President Margee M. Ensign and former Peace Corps Director Aaron Williams write, colleges must double-down on their commitment to excellence in international education."

The Conversation

Disasters interrupt schooling regularly in parts of Africa: here’s a solution

"“Schools are among the worst institutional casualties of complex disasters,” write Dickinson President Margee M. Ensign and Dickinson professor Jacob Udo-Udo Jacob in an op-ed."

Hechinger Report

Why losing international students is a big blow to higher education

""America, the world leader in higher education, stands at the precipice of losing the economic, intellectual and cultural contributions international students bring to our society and its college and university communities." "


Community resilience is facing Its greatest threat, and colleges are helping

"“Colleges are—and should be—at the epicenter of community responses to COVID. They can and should be the assembly point for community action.”"


'I'd be nuts not to be anxious': Pa. college administrators prepare for unpredictable fall semester

"In terms of contact tracing, the college said it was working with the state to figure out how to make that work, but President Margee Ensign said her college ended up "not receiving the support from the state that we need.""

The Chronicle of Higher Education

Responsible Decision Making During a Crisis

"A panel of college leaders, including Dickinson College President Margee Ensign discuss what pros and cons decision makers are weighing, who should be brought in to the decision making process, and how to balance obligations that leaders have to their students, employees and communities."

USA Today

'The virus beat us': Colleges are increasingly going online for fall 2020 semester as COVID-19 cases rise

"Dickinson College, a private liberal arts college in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, was one of earlier universities to announce plans to forgo an in-person fall semester in favor of a digital one."


A midstate college suspends in-person instruction for the Fall semester

""It is a scenario unlike anything we have experienced, driven by a virus about which much remains unknown," said Dickinson President Margee M. Ensign."

Education Dive

Colleges walk back their fall plans as coronavirus cases spike

"In early June, when we announced our decision to bring students back, COVID-19 cases were on the decline across the country," Margee Ensign, the college's president, wrote in a message to the campus."

The Chronicle of Higher Education

3 Colleges Abandon Plans for In-Person Learning in the Fall

"A second reversal came from Dickinson College. A letter sent Wednesday attributed its changed plans to the fact that cases and hospitalizations are going up."

The Philadelphia Inquirer

Nearly three quarters of Pa. state university faculty would not feel safe teaching students face-to-face this fall, survey shows

"Dickinson College said its classes would remain remote for the fall, citing increased cases of the virus around the country, potential delays in test results, and the need to quarantine hundreds of students who may be coming in from hot spots."


Known Unknowns

"The clock could be ticking on OPT"

Strong Towns

College & Community: A Blueprint for Towns Facing COVID-19

"he original intent of the group was to identify community needs and meet them through collaboration, but the relationships built along the way have been paying untold dividends in the time of COVID-19."


Community resilience is facing its greatest threat, and colleges are helping | Opinion

"Institutions of higher education, large and small, can and do play a significant role in serving our country and our world at this critical moment in history."


Communities Taking Action

"Members of one central Pennsylvania town, who formed a Community Action Network before the crisis, are using their network to form a community response to the pandemic."

WITF Smart Talk

Communities Taking Action

"Members of one central Pennsylvania town, who formed a Community Action Network before the crisis, are using their network to form a community response to the pandemic."

The Sentinel

Meeting needs: Carlisle area community leaders pull together for COVD-19 response, offer suggestions for donations

"For more than two years a group of Carlisle area community leaders have gathered in Dickinson College President Margee Ensign's home about once a month to work on projects affecting the community."

The Hill

It’s Time to Pass the Global Fragility Act

"It seems short-sighted to miss this opportunity to work towards stabilizing conflict-affected areas and preventing violence and conflict."

Liberal Education

The National Security Threat We Are Ignoring: The Failure of American Education to Prepare Students for the Future

"America is in peril, and there is reason to fear for our future. The peril stems from our fundamental and profound ignorance about the rest of the world."

Times Higher Education

Without global education, we are ‘America last’

"A global education is critical to responding to global challenges. Much of the world understands this, and the US needs to catch up, says Margee Ensign"

The Philadelphia Inquirer

How universities can keep the Youth Wave of voting going strong

"The voting numbers are important, not just because our students took an active role in helping to shape their future, but because they foreshadow a trend."


After Pittsburgh, where do we see hope for common ground?

"As president and chairman of the board of Dickinson College, we are focused on our students, sources of great inspiration, especially in times like these."

Army Times

This is no time for the Army to retreat from peacekeeping operations

"The Army has wisely used PKSOI to train personnel from an extensive practical knowledge base of best practices, saving lives and treasure in the process."

The Sentinel

No Time for Army to retreat from peacekeeping

"I have seen the results of what happens when highly trained professionals are not available in a humanitarian crisis."

Inside Higher Ed

We Must Do More for International Students

"Bringing the world to our campuses -- and sending our students out into that world -- is a necessity. Failing to provide international perspectives for students does them a disservice."

The Hechinger Report

We say we seek diversity — but where are the truly inclusive campuses?

"I have been told [that] greater intercultural competence might be nice to have, but it is just an elitist frill. I couldn’t disagree more"

The Washington Post

Civic Engagement and the Value of College

"Colleges and universities must be more purposeful in demonstrating our value to our communities."

The Philadelphia Inquirer

Dickinson College President Opens Doors to Former Captives of Terrorist Group, And It’s Not the First Time

"Now, Ensign’s old world and new worlds were about to collide."

The Philadelphia Inquirer

America is disastrously failing to educate internationally literate citizens

"“While it is easy to point fingers at Trump, the problem for America runs far deeper. The U.S. has been the world’s greatest superpower for many decades, but many of our citizens remain willfully ignorant of that world.”"

Huffington Post

What is a college endowment, and why should you care?

""The U.S. Senate’s tax reform bill contains a provision that will apply an excise tax to large college endowments. The provision is a stark illustration of how members of Congress just don’t understand endowments, the roles they play in higher education and the impact this tax will have on students and their hard-working families.""

Huffington Post

To Forge One from Many

"I know what life is like in a country roiled by violent extremists who use religion to turn neighbor against neighbor. I have seen communities and lives destroyed, futures twisted by hate and suffering born of mistrust, all to gain political ends. I have seen how the rhetoric of hatred leads to dead bodies in the street."

Huffington Post

Tax Reform Proposals Attack Colleges and Students

"As Congress wrestles with the tax reform, I along with other higher education leaders have been working diligently, contacting elected officials, and urging them to vote against a plan that would damage higher education in this country."


Keeping Nigerian youths from Boko Haram’s clutches

"If you’re not educated, you can be easily manipulated. If you can’t imagine your life is going to get better,” then you’re more at risk, the American educator says. The extremists “do provide some purpose, even though it’s an evil purpose."

Huffington Post

Communicating Across Cultures: The Missing Link

"The U.S. against the world. White nationalists versus the rest of the country. It’s a frightening and disheartening world."