Reports and Surveys

2014
A decade ago, AGB and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), working with a national task force, developed an illustrative memorandum of understanding (MOU) that was widely promulgated and served as a model for agreements at many institutions and systems. This illustrative MOU, originally published in 2005, provided a catalyst and starting point for conversations among institution and foundation leaders about the role of...
2014
After five years of change and upheaval, why is it that governing boards of colleges and universities continue to consider risk on a largely ad hoc basis? The findings from a recent survey, conducted by the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) and United Educators (UE), indicate a modest increase in the use of risk assessment in high-level decision making over the past five years, but they also show that boards and...
2014
Created in a time of segregation and discrimination to educate students of color, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have played a pivotal role in transforming the landscape of higher education in the United States. Today, in an era of rapid transformation, HBCUs face historic challenges as well as new obstacles. Questions about sustainability, cost, quality, and mission are among many of the perennial issues that will require...
2014
Too often, boards spend too little time discussing student learning, student outcomes, and student success. As stewards of the whole of the institution, the oversight of educational quality is a primary obligation of governing boards. AGB—with support from the Teagle Foundation, an advisory committee, and teams from eight diverse institutions—has developed a set of tools and resources that can help college and university boards work...
2013
The environment in which MOOCs and other forms of online education operate is changing virtually every day. Based upon a presentation given to the board of directors of AGB, this white paper is an effort to give board chairs, presidents, and others some context to help guide discussions on their own campuses. Author Brian Voss is the vice president and CIO at the University of Maryland’s flagship campus in College Park and also a member of...
2013
The challenges facing public higher education are placing new demands and pressures on colleges and universities and those responsible for their governance and leadership. As higher education seeks to negotiate these and other 21st-century changes, the role of its “guardians” in stimulating change, supporting purposeful leadership, and restoring confidence has never been more critical. Yet when strong and effective governing boards...
2013
State policymakers and the public at large have a vested interest in the successful governance of their higher education system. The citizens who are appointed or elected to serve as trustees and regents of the state's colleges and universities oversee valuable public assets that they hold in trust for the state and current and future generations. All appointments to governing and coordinating boards need to be made with care, and, once selected...
2013
The rate of change in technology presents challenges for all of us in our daily lives. Whether it’s the latest apps or newest phones, it’s a steep and continuous learning curve. For universities and colleges, the choices about how we use technology to educate students are many and the options potentially costly, in dollars as well as opportunities. Decisions about educational technology are among the most consequential. They affect...
2012
The Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) is pleased to share the results of its recent study on the engagement of governing boards in the oversight of intercollegiate athletics. As spending on athletics by colleges and universities continues to rise, accompanied by mounting public ire about ethical and moral misconduct, it is critically important that governing boards monitor and oversee the impact of athletics on...
2012
The Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges has released its third survey of higher education governance, The 2012 AGB Survey of Higher Education Governance. College Prices, Costs, and Outcomes: Who’s Minding the Gap between Higher Education and the Public? The survey of more than 2,500 board members of both public and independent universities and colleges focused on board member perceptions about college prices, costs...
2011
The content of this edition of the State Governance Action Report was informed by newspaper reports, online reports, state and institutional Web sites, and conversations with state and higher education leaders. It is current through February 1, 2011. Much of this legislative activity comes at a time when the fiscal conditions of states are reaching their trough. Ramifications of budget cuts from the last two fiscal years have had a direct...
2011
The headlines report that college tuition is rising rapidly and students are struggling to pay for college. Financial-aid issues have also been in the news lately, with questions about student debt particularly prominent. Non-tuition revenues are weak because of declining state appropriations, depleted endowments, and anemic annual giving. At the same time, institutional expenditures continue their upward spiral as health-care costs rise,...
2011
“Front and Center: Critical Choices for Higher Education” examines ways governance leaders can increase the number of Americans who finish college and other certificate programs, stressing that such a goal is necessary to ensure that the U.S. economy remains competitive. Based on a December 2010 conference that convened individuals and organizations responsible for higher education, The Miller Center at the University of Virginia and...
2011
The latest State Governance Action Report (SGAR) covering current or just recently completed legislative sessions. Among the most important issues being considered are management autonomy, such as relaxed rules for purchasing, procurement, and human resources, and greater fiscal autonomy measures such as carry-over budgeting and greater tuition-setting authority. The 2011 legislative cycle and the 2012 fiscal year have prompted increased state...
2011
This report, the second of AGB’s studies of higher education governance, documents the extent to which college and university boards are following good-governance practices. In addition, it takes a focused look at board engagement to determine the degree to which governing boards are actively, intellectually, and strategically involved with their presidents or chancellors in guiding and protecting the institutions they serve. Sections...
2011
This 2011 report is intended to provide foundation staff and boards, as well as administrators and boards of public colleges, universities, and university systems, with an understanding of common foundation governance practices and board composition. Among other things, this report, based on 2010 survey data, demonstrates the enormous heterogeneity of foundations. Optimal board composition and governance practices vary widely depending on the...
2010
This March 2010 report includes a detailed summary of the most relevant issues, legislative proposals, and proposed policies facing the governance and oversight of public higher education. Executive Summary Declining fiscal conditions continue be the major higher education issue in the states. Funding for higher education was essentially flat from FY 2008 to 2009, with state and local appropriation declines offset by federal stimulus dollars...
2010
Over the past two years, adoption of the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act (UPMIFA) has fundamentally changed the regulatory context in which boards make decisions regarding spending from underwater endowments.  AGB, in partnership with Commonfund Institute, surveyed 207 institutions in the 46 states and the District of Columbia that have adopted (UPMIFA), collecting information about current and prior spending and...
2010
Coordinating boards and commissions have long been members of the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB), but we have never attempted to systematically collect data about how they are structured internally or about the citizens who serve on them. This report does that. It provides us considerable information about the citizens who serve on these boards and commissions (a demographic profile), as well as some of the...
2010
From the foreword: Over the last decade, assessment of student learning has moved beyond being a topic of discussion solely within the academic community and into the public discourse. Institutions are expected to measure student achievement both to inform and provide accountability to the public, as well as to assure the success of institutional mission. We regularly hear board members ask how they can learn whether students are receiving the...
2010
Over the course of just a few decades, technology has become a powerful force on college and university campuses. It is the set of tools that supports financial operations and university administration. It is the backbone that undergirds facilities management and institutional operations. From wireless networks to computer labs to campus alert systems, it is the package of applications that supports the student experience. Technology provides...
2010
From the Introduction: 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. A continuation of efforts by AGB’s Ingram Center for Public Trusteeship and Governance, this report analyzes state appropriations, budget cuts, board actions, cost-reduction strategies, tuition and fee levels, and endowments. As the...
2010
From March through May 2010, the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) conducted an online survey of board chairs from independent colleges and universities to gauge institution and governing board responses to the economic downturn. This is the second year AGB has administered a survey on this topic, with this survey focusing primarily on fiscal year 2009. Because we wanted responses to cover a completed fiscal year...
2010
Based on a 2010 survey, this one-of-a-kind report describes current boards, board members, committees, and policies. Complied only once every five years, this report features the latest data and including a profile of board committee structures, highlights of recent changes, and demographic information on trustees (age, ethnicity, gender, and more). Download the executive summary here. (Find the composition survey for public colleges and...
2010
Based on a 2010 survey, this one-of-a-kind report describes current boards, board members, committees, and policies. Complied only once every five years, this report features the latest data and including a profile of board committee structures, highlights of recent changes, and demographic information on trustees (age, ethnicity, gender, and more). Download the executive summary. (Find the composition survey for independent colleges and...
2010
College and university chief executives as well as board leaders have sought advice from AGB concerning whether presidents should accept positions on corporate and other external boards, what limitations might apply, and whether and how to codify board decisions in either a contract or additional policy. To answer these questions, AGB conducted a survey of 1298 chief executives of member colleges, universities, and systems during the summer of...
2009
Introduction This sixth edition of the State Governance Report summarizes the most relevant issues, legislative proposals, and proposed policies facing public higher education and its governance and oversight. The majority of coverage is devoted to the current or just recently completed 2009 legislative sessions. Other issues covered in this report include court decisions and actions by state higher education agencies and public institutions....
2009
This report provides an overview of current financial conditions in public higher education. Using such metrics as funding levels, budget cuts, strategies for cost reductions, creative board actions, tuition and financial aid levels, enrollment projections, private support, and current board practices, we have tried to capture the essence of the challenges college and university boards are facing and how they are responding. As the economy...
2009
This report highlights and recognizes award recipients for their efforts to develop and implement the state's most successful programs, projects, and activities that help meet the goals of the Texas higher education plan, Closing the Gaps, by 2015. Many worked to develop and implement effective programs and activities. The Houston Endowment, Inc. provided support to the Texas Coordinating Board and the Association of Governing Boards of...
2009
This survey was jointly conducted by AGB and United Educators and reports data on attitudes, practices and policies regarding enterprise risk management among American colleges and universities. The survey was completed by more than 600 respondents in June 2008. Additional survey data Enterprise Risk Management: Best Practices for Boards, Presidents, and Chancellors Worksheet for Oversight of Systematic Risk Assessment See also, Risk ...
2009
This 2009 study was conducted by AGB with the generous support of a grant from TIAA-CREF Institute. The paper reports common practices, barriers, and recommendations for engaging faculty and boards in institutional governance, and highlights the key role of the president in facilitating effective governance. The study included presidents, board members, chief academic officers, and other academic leaders in meetings, interviews, and a...
2009
In March and April of 2009, the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB), in partnership with the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) and Commonfund Institute, conducted a survey of colleges, universities, and affiliated foundations in states in which UPMIFA had been enacted in order to learn how institutions are managing endowment spending under UPMIFA and to inform decision making...
2009
Update: Find the 2011 AGB Survey of Higher Education Governance here. A close look at higher education governance practices at over 700 colleges and universities.
2009
In late 2008, the IRS sent a compliance questionnaire to approximately 400 colleges and universities, the majority of which were four-year, public or independent, degree-granting institutions. This questionnaire focused on institutional governance practices, endowment management, employee compensation, and activities that generate unrelated business income (UBI) during the tax year ending in 2006. Upon the announcement of the questionnaire, the...
2009
A Joint Paper of the National Association of System Heads, American Association of State Colleges and Universities, and the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges This paper offers a summary of key points and recommendations from the discussion and other sources. Its purpose is to provide guidelines to each of the major figures in the leadership dynamic, helping bring about increased effectiveness in public higher education...
2009
It has been clear for some time that colleges and universities face unprecedented economic challenges which make it difficult, if not impossible, to sustain the business practices they have followed for many decades. Strategic Imperatives poses thought-provoking questions to help institutional boards and leaders develop the new strategies, tools, and modes of operation necessary to respond proactively and robustly to today's market...
2008
This is the fifth edition of the State Governance Action Report that has been produced since 2000 by AGB’s Ingram Center for Public Trusteeship and Governance. Focusing primarily on state and higher education policies directly affecting governance, trusteeship, and institutionally related foundations, this issue of the Report reminds us that America’s unique form of governance remains unsettled in many states and subject to tinkering in several...
2008
This report summarizes the joint four-year effort of AGB and the Texas Coordinating Board to educate and inform leaders and citizens, and highlights the totality of work thus far of a state confronting major demographic change and achievement gaps in education. Board members, higher education executives, and state policymakers will find the report a useful examination of one state's strategies, initiatives, and ideas on how to tackle one of the...
2008
In 2008 AGB conducted a survey of member institutions to find out more about the typical work and membership of boards' executive committees and the relationship between the committee and board. Nearly 500 independent and public colleges and universities participated in the study. Board chairs and presidents may find the survey highlights and tips in the January/February 2010 Trusteeship article useful . Separate data reports for all...
2008
This compilation of four papers, based on more than 30 regional and national meetings on cost matters, covers:an introduction to the topic of costs; strategies to control costs; how boards review institutional costs; and the necessity of strategic oversight by boards. Titles include "Strengthening Board Capacity for Overseeing College Costs," "What Boards Are Doing -- and Not Doing -- in Reviewing Institutional Costs," "...
2007
Welcome to the Ingram Center’s State Governance Action Report. Compiled in this report are state policy developments, including legislation, commissions, and studies, affecting the structure, responsibilities, and operations of public higher education governing boards and institutionally related foundations. Governance and governance-related issues are at the forefront of higher education policy debates in several states. And if the...
2007
Governors play a crucial role in the governance of public colleges and universities, in part through their appointments of the citizen volunteers who help steer the policy course for these complex organizations. The most effective trustees and regents have the knowledge base—and the leadership, commitment, and listening skills—to craft effective policy in a rapidly evolving environment. But governors’ responsibilities don...
2005
Charter and enterprise universities emerged as major issues in recent legislative sessions. Although charter colleges or universities have been debated previously in a few states, they are still relatively new and untested concepts in higher education policy. Charter and enterprise universities, or similar designations, redefine an institution’s relationship to the state and are largely outgrowths of shifts in state funding capacity. To some...
2004
The 2004 State Governance Action Annual certainly shows that when it comes to American higher education governance these days, there is much ado about something—at least in the public sector. The financial distress that has rocked state governments over the past couple of years has touched off a series of discussions—on governance, finance, and accountability—across the country. But tough times aren’t the only thing behind the drive to...
2004
State policy makers have a vested interest in the successful governance of their state's higher education system.  The citizens chosen to serve as trustees and regents of the state's colleges and universities oversee valuable public assets that they hold in trust for current and future generations.  All appointments to governing boards should be made with great care, and trustees and regents, once selected, should be given first-rate...
2004
James C. Hearn, Michael K. McLendon, and Leigh Z. Gilchrist discuss the impact of sunshine laws on governing boards, offer recommendations to improve communication regarding such laws, and suggest compromises for boards and the public on open meetings and open records laws.
2004
David W. Breneman, university professor and dean of the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia, examines experiments and proposed changes underway in the public higher education systems in seven states and offers questions for governing boards and policymakers to address in considering their own systems' and institutions' policy proposals.
2004
Principles and good practices for leaders who wish to establish state-level trustee-education programs or improve existing ones, drawing on practices used in Illinois, Kentucky, Texas, and West Virginia.
2003
This paper makes the case for establishing recruitment and screening panels to help governors appoint public college and university trustees. It offers ideas that can be adapted to the diverse traditions and cultures of state governments and public higher education systems. It also provides illustrative lists of the responsibilities of public governing boards and individual trustees as well as the qualifications to be sought in outstanding...
2003
In this white paper underwritten by AGB for the June 2003 Communities, Higher Education and the Changing Economy conference, Stephen R. Portch, chancellor emeritus of the University System of Georgia, argues that "higher education can begin to reinvent itself radically" and offers specific how-to suggestions.
2003
In this white paper, underwritten by AGB for the June 2003 Communities, Higher Education and the Changing Economy conference, Joseph C. Burke, director of the Higher Education Program at the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, characterizes the skills needed in the new knowledge economy and identifies lessons learned from seven states surveyed.
2003
At most American institutions in which the university or system governing board has direct responsibility for an academic health center (AHC), trustees probably lack a detailed knowledge of the modern health-care system. Yet because they bear fiduciary responsibility for the university and its AHC, the board and executive leadership must be concerned with the AHC’s financial condition and academic vitality. The very size of the...
2002
Jane V. Wellman, a senior associate with The Institute for Higher Education Policy, identifies five steps boards--and policymakers--can take to diagnose and act on the short-term and long-term challenges facing public and private institutions and systems.
2002
Terrence J. MacTaggart and James R. Mingle offer lessons for states, higher education systems, or for any college or university that wishes to help forge its community's social and economic agenda, with snapshots of diverse strategies in Illinois, Kentucky, Oregon, and Texas.
2002
The AGB Center for Public Trusteeship and Governance facilitated the recent Mississippi Leadership Summit on Higher Education. The summit's steering committee released this blueprint for educators and policymakers in January 2002. See also the executive summary of the report and a report on the impact of the Summit.
2002
This 2002 study by AGB highlights the twenty-three states that have established matching funds programs for higher education, details the nature of the dollar matches, and shows the programs that the matching funds are being utilized for.
2002
University-affiliated foundations have difficulty locating and retaining good fund-raisers. A recent survey found that demand for fund-raisers is greater than supply; only one in five is looking for a new job. This paper explains issues and lists strategies that can help affiliated foundations recruit and retain chief advancement officers and senior fundraisers. Among the strategies are the following: 1. Opportunities for Growth and Learning....
2002
University-related foundations considering new entrepreneurial activities should examine several questions and criteria before pursuing such opportunities. Each foundation has its own strategic priorities, values, and culture, and what works for one may not fit another.While the differing historical, tax, and legal environments facing foundations could lead their executives and directors to different decisions, the following may serve all as...
2000
College and university foundations originally set up to provide an added margin of excellence for their host institutions have evolved into aggressive fund-raisers to support day-to-day operations and endowments. Their rise has coincided with cuts in government spending on higher education and with public demands for more accountability for officials entrusted with spending taxpayer dollars. Because foundations sometimes can straddle the line...
2000
Foundations that raise funds to help state colleges and universities risk growing too close to the institution with which they’re affiliated and losing their legal status as independent entities. Case law contains numerous examples of news organizations and other private or citizen’s groups that take state university-related foundations to court. The result for some foundations has been a loss of privacy for their confidential donor...
1999
This AGB/CASE-sponsored report documents a 1998 study on how much it costs to raise money. The author describes ways foundations can increase their budgets to support increased fund-raising.