Susan Whealler Johnston

Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, AGB

Susan Whealler Johnston, executive vice president and chief operating officer of AGB, joined the staff in July 2000 as director of private sector programs and soon became a vice president.  She has nearly 30 years’ experience in higher education, including 18 years as a faculty member and administrator. Since joining the AGB staff, she has directed a number of national projects, including a study of governing boards’ responsibilities for educational quality and a multi-year project on college costs.

Susan also has 15 years’ experience as a communications consultant in business and industry.  She has worked with governmental and non-profit agencies as well, and has served on boards of several social service agencies.  She has served on the board of Rockford College, the Association for Consortia Leadership, and the advisory board for the Policy Center for the First Year of College.  She is currently on the advisory board of the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment, and she chairs the board of trustees of the Southern Education Foundation. She is also on the board of trustees of Rollins College, chairing its Committee on Trustees.

Susan earned her Ph.D. and M.A. in 18th-century British literature from Purdue University.  Her undergraduate degree in English, summa cum laude, is from Rollins College. She received an honorary doctorate from Rockford College. Her research, publications, and presentations are in the areas of governance, higher education, and Jane Austen. Included among her recent publications are A Survey of Higher Education Governance (AGB, 2009 and 2011), How Boards Oversee Educational Quality (AGB, 2010), “How Governing Boards Fail” in Cautionary Tales: Strategy Lessons from Struggling Colleges (2012) and a chapter on governing boards and civic engagement in Higher Education for the Public Good: Emerging Voices from a National Movement.

Susan Whealler Johnston on AGB.org: