Public higher education governance and oversight have been under review in state capitals and system board rooms across the country in recent years. In several states, governors and legislators have considered statutory or constitutional changes to the organizations that determine policy. In others, governing board leaders and system executives themselves have launched extensive review processes resulting in campus consolidations and other far-reaching institutional and administrative changes.
These reviews and legislative proposals, which can be undertaken for a variety of reasons, often lead to reorganizations such as the consolidation or elimination of governing boards, or the creation of new ones, with a resulting realignment of the oversight of some or all a state’s public colleges and universities. They may also lead to reconstituting a governing board’s composition and authority—or the creation, strengthening, or weakening of the legal authority of a state higher education coordinating or advisory body. The expressed concerns of governors and legislators over costs, duplication and the needs of students can also leverage serious consideration of institutional mergers and consolidations.
In a recent AGB State Policy Brief, “Guidelines for Reviewing State Higher Education Governance Structures,” the authors highlight principles for undertaking such a review. In a webinar on November 30, AGB will explore the principles for state restructuring, illustrated by a range of recent state restructuring cases, including the University System of Georgia’s experience cutting costs and better serving students through institutional consolidations. Participants will hear from university system leaders and policy analysts, with real-world examples drawn from recent state reviews and system change initiatives—and have an opportunity to address questions specific to their states and circumstances.