This is the second consecutive year that the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) is reporting on the financial conditions facing public governing boards. This report analyzes state appropriations, budget cuts, board actions, cost-reduction strategies, tuition and fee levels, and endowments.
As the current financial downturn in the nation and in our states continues to be of serious concern to policy makers and higher education leaders, not to mention students and their families, AGB presents the financial conditions of 120 public institutions and systems.
One meaningful aspect of this report is that findings include comparisons to last year’s 2009 data. Comparisons illuminate the changes occurring in state, system, and institutional budgets. They also highlight changes in board actions as trustees respond to the fiscal challenges affecting colleges and universities. The current recession continues to be the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. This downturn did not happen overnight, and it cannot be fixed overnight. Subsequently, some of the strategic decisions that boards and institutional leaders have implemented (or are considering implementing) may take time to evolve and produce expected cost savings. Institutions and systems have developed (or are developing) short- and long-term actions to reduce spending and retain much-needed revenues. These approaches are outlined in this report.