The Guardians InitiativeTM:
Reclaiming the Public Trust

Briefs & Research

Higher education is a complex industry facing unique challenges that are not widely understood by the general public.

Whether you’re seeking information on business models, public perceptions of higher education, or how to talk about the return on investment in higher education for individuals and society at large, these resources can help.

If your institution would like to discuss how to engage its board in this vital work, please call (202) 296-8400 or email guardians@AGB.org.

Guardians Information Briefs

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The Business of Higher Education→

This briefing includes overviews of today’s higher education business model, pricing, and costs, as well as information on how best to discuss a few key propositions about higher education.

Return on Investment in College Education→

This briefing includes information on how to calculate college ROI, historical views of ROI, contemporary evidence of ROI, and supporting data.

The Promise of Higher Education→

This briefing offers information on contemporary endeavors at colleges and universities to reimagine educational programs to meet the changing needs of students and society.

Public Confidence in Higher Education→

This briefing offers measurements of public confidence and advice on how board members can work to bolster or improve public conceptions of higher education.

Renewing the Democratic Purposes of Higher Education→

This briefing offers good evidence that colleges and universities contribute to the nation’s civic health and educating students for citizenship.

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The Worth of Endowments in Higher Education→

This briefing encourages board members to recognize their significant fiduciary responsibility to understand and steward endowments.

The Research Mission in Higher Education→

This brief shows how academic research generates technological, educational, and cultural benefits, and highlights questions for boards to help research produce creativity, innovation, and discovery, and preserve America’s research leadership.

The International Dimensions of Higher Education→

This brief shows how America’s colleges and universities can benefit from a thoughtful and coherent strategy that emphasizes developing international opportunities.

The AGB Trustee Index

2020 Index→

The third in a series of three annual surveys, conducted by Gallup under the direction of AGB, to assess trustee perspectives on the state of higher education.

2018 Index→

The second in a series of three annual surveys, conducted by Gallup under the direction of AGB, to assess trustee perspectives on the state of higher education.

The AGB 2017 Trustee Index

2017 Index→

The first in a series of three annual surveys, conducted by Gallup under the direction of AGB, to assess trustee perspectives on the state of higher education

Trusteeship Podcast

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The Trusteeship Podcast provides perspective on the issues facing the nation’s universities and colleges. Through insider insight and expert analysis, this podcast helps leaders in this vital sector advance the public trust in higher education.