Collaborative Leadership for Higher Education Business Model Vitality

people surrounding an I representing project information

About the Project

This joint project was made possible by the collaboration, leadership, and input of the following individuals from the advisory group created for this project and the AGB/ Baker Tilly/ CIC/ NACUBO project team. We thank them for their time, along with their wise counsel and expert guidance regarding leading practices to inform, educate, and inspire governing board members and senior executives to strengthen collaboratively the long-term vitality and value of their institutions. We are especially grateful to Stephen T. Golding, who served as the primary author and project facilitator, for his careful and diligent efforts to create this report.

Advisory Group

  • Leslie Brunelli, Senior Vice Chancellor for Business and Financial Affairs and University Treasurer, University of Denver
  • Dean Calvo, Vice President for Business Affairs/Treasurer, Scripps College
  • La Jerne Terry Cornish, President, Ithaca College
  • Miles Davis, President, Linfield University
  • David English, Vice President for Finance and Management and CFO, Denison University
  • Gretchen Flicker, Past Board Chair, Saint Mary’s College (IN)
  • Michael Frandsen, President, Wittenberg University
  • William Guerrero, Vice President of Finance and CFO, University of Bridgeport
  • Edmund Hughes, Board Chair, Tougaloo College
  • Jeff Keller, Board Chair, Colorado College
  • John Loyack, President, Alvernia University
  • Amy McCormack, President, Calumet College of St. Joseph
  • Elizabeth H. Noe, Board Chairperson, Agnes Scott College
  • Christine Plunkett, President, Iowa Wesleyan University
  • Sharon Reishus, Board Chair, Unity College
  • Rebecca Vazquez-Skillings, Vice President for Finance and Administration, Oberlin College and Conservatory

Project Team

  • Dave Capitano, Higher Education Practice Leader, Baker Tilly
  • Stephen T. Golding, Author/project leader, AGB Senior Consultant, and Board Chair, Washington College
  • Marjorie Hass, President, CIC
  • Jim Hundrieser, Vice President for Consulting Services, NACUBO
  • Susan Whealler Johnston, the late President and CEO, NACUBO
  • Jason Rivera, Director of Strategic Research, CIC
  • Randy Roberson, Vice President, Leadership Development, NACUBO
  • Merrill Schwartz, Senior Vice President, Content and Program Strategy, AGB
  • Christine Smith, Managing Director, Higher Education and Risk Advisory Practices, Baker Tilly

Project Partners

Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) logo

The Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) is the premier membership organization that strengthens higher education governing boards and the strategic roles they serve within their organizations. Through our vast library of resources, educational events, and consulting services, and with 100 years of experience, we empower 40,000 AGB members from more than 2,000 institutions and foundations to navigate complex issues, implement leading practices, streamline operations, and govern with confidence. AGB is the trusted resource for board members, chief executives, and key administrators on higher education governance and leadership. For more information, visit

Bakertilly logo

Baker Tilly is a leading advisory CPA firm with a specialized focus on higher education and research institutions. College and university leaders and boards count on our more than 6,500 Value Architects to collaboratively seize opportunities to achieve student success and institutional sustainability. Our higher education practice addresses areas such as enterprise risk management, internal audit, compliance, fiscal resiliency, cybersecurity, student health and wellness, athletics, talent management, cost reduction, fraud, construction, capital asset management and other strategic, financial, and operational issues. As the tenth largest assurance and advisory firm in the country, Baker Tilly’s depth of coast-to-coast experience and breadth of industry specialization ensures we deliver candid and insightful guidance to solve your institution’s challenges now, for tomorrow. For more information, visit

The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) logo

The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) is dedicated to the excellence and effectiveness of independent colleges and universities with a core focus on undergraduate education and a commitment to the liberal arts and sciences. Through institutes, seminars, workshops, networks, publications, and services, CIC supports college and university leadership, advances institutional excellence, and enhances public understanding of independent higher education’s contributions to society. CIC membership is open to nonprofit independent colleges and universities in the US and abroad, as well as to state associations and councils and other educational organizations. Since 1956, CIC has been the premier national organization serving small and mid-size independent colleges and universities and their leaders; currently more than 700 colleges, universities, and organizations benefit from participation in CIC’s programs, networks, and services. Learn more at

The National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) logo

Since 1962, the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) has been an indispensable source of clear, trusted knowledge for campus leaders with a particular focus on the finance and business operations of an institution. NACUBO provides a bold voice, collaboration, and resources to tackle higher education’s evolving challenges. The mission is to help members ensure success.

NACUBO members come from all institutional types and join a diverse and engaged network of peers and advocates who are driving the conversation forward. We serve college and university professionals and other stakeholders who work in higher education business and finance seeking to provide strategic and practical support and innovative solutions for institutions’ needs to thrive. Learn more at

A joint project of

Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) logo
Bakertilly logo
The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) logo
The National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) logo


Cover of report entitled Collaborative Leadership for Higher Education Business Model Vitality