As American higher education faces significant challenges—from rising costs to questions about the value of a college degree—the board’s oversight and voice about these issues is paramount.
A recent AGB Quick Governance Survey sought to gather trustee opinions about which issues they believe will drive conversation on their campus for the next academic year. While full results will appear in the November/December issue of Trusteeship magazine, here are some quick key takeaways from the survey. Among public, independent, and proprietary board members fiscal sustainability is regarded as the single most important area that boards need to address to improve their institution’s value for the public’s greater good. Other issues vary in importance by sector.
Good governance is never a static practice but instead is one that requires constant and deliberate action. The number one most important governance issue that board members say they will address during the next academic year is different across each sector. Inevitably, governing boards confronts a host of new and ongoing strategic issues that impact their institution or system each academic year. Enrollment is the one most prominent strategic issue that boards across each sector intend to address in the next year.
The survey was posted on the AGB blog and sent electronically to board members of AGB member universities, colleges, and systems. A total of 818 respondents completed the survey. Of those that did, 73 percent represented independent institutions, 17 percent were from public institutions or systems, and 10 percent were from private proprietary institutions.