Terrence MacTaggart

Senior Fellow, AGB

Terry MacTaggart is an experienced leader and scholar in higher education.  His consulting and research work focuses on higher education leadership and policy, strategic planning, institutional advancement, trustee development and leadership evaluation.  He has served as a faculty member and administrator at several public and independent colleges and universities where he has led or participated in substantial institutional transformations.  He has held the Chancellor’s position at the Minnesota State University System and on two occasions at the University of Maine System.

He has served as a consultant and facilitator of board retreats for numerous colleges, universities and systems including the University of Connecticut, Rutgers, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Nebraska System, the University System of Maryland,  Metropolitan State College of Denver, East Carolina University, the Oregon University System, the University of Alaska System, the University of Northern British Columbia, the University of Victoria in British Columbia, the University of Houston System, Texas Southern University, the Texas Tech University System, the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, the Maine Maritime Academy, Johnson & Wales University, New England College,  Endicott College, Mitchell College, College of the Marshall Islands, Fielding Graduate University and others.

He has served as Chair of the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE) of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).  He has led multiple visiting teams for several regional accrediting associations.  He has served as a Fulbright Scholar to Thailand and to Vietnam as an expert on accreditation and quality assurance.

His research and publications focus on governance, improving relations between institutions and the public, and restoring institutional vitality.  His most recent book, Leading Change: How Boards and Presidents Build Exceptional Institutions, fills a significant void in leadership literature and focuses on the changing level of board engagement. This book examines 18 institutions, across the spectrum of higher education, at which the board played a significant collaborative role with the president, the leadership team and the faculty to lead change.  Another best-selling book, published by ACE/Praeger in 2007, is titled Academic Turnarounds: Restoring Growth and Vitality to Challenged American Colleges and Universities. With James Mingle, he authored Pursuing the Public’s Agenda: Trustees in Partnership With State Leaders. In 1996, he served as the editor and lead author of Restructuring Public Higher Education—What Works and What Doesn’t in Reorganizing Public Systems.  Two years later he produced Seeking Excellence Through Independence, which focuses on rebalancing campus autonomy and accountability in order to achieve better results. In 2000, he wrote, along with Robert Berdahl, a study of the partial privatization of public institutions entitled Charter Colleges: Balancing Freedom and Accountability. He is currently preparing a book on high functioning boards of trustees.


His academic credentials include a doctorate and master’s degree in English Literature from Saint Louis University, a Master of Business Administration degree from St. Cloud University, an honorary doctor of law degree from the American College of Greece, and membership in Phi Beta Kappa.