Trusteeship Podcasts

Discussing prevailing issues
in higher education

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

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Episode 12: Building the Bridge

AGB’s George Watt and Bank of America’s Bill Jarvis discuss governance issues facing investment committees and institutional/foundation boards as campuses gradually reopen. This conversation is intended to provoke productive thought at a time when decisions are being made in an environment that remains uncertain and very fluid.

Seeing Clearly: Governance Thoughts for 2020 (pdf)

Bank of America
Aired: June 22, 2020

Episode 11: Solutions Through Partnerships

Corvias Founder John Picerne explores how colleges and universities can transform themselves through strategically partnering with an innovator in the private sector, allowing for the monetization of existing resources and eradication of debt.
Aired: April 17, 2020

Episode 10: Engaging Alumni in Advocacy

AGB examines how University of Washington Alumni Association engaged with the state legislature and other policymakers to support university priorities through the work of UW Impact, the advocacy arm of the Alumni Association. Featuring Paul Rucker (executive director of the University of Washington Alumni Association) and Courtney Acitelli (program director of UW Impact), this episode explores the strength of engaging with alumni, community leaders, businesses, and other higher education institutions to promote higher education initiatives with lawmakers.

Aired: December 18, 2019

Episode 9: Understanding the Power of Research

Academic research played a role in some of the most transformative technologies today, in medicine, communications, and a host of other disciplines. However, skepticism of higher education and budget fears are cause for concern, encouraging policymakers and the public alike to question the value of university research. AGB interviewed former University System of Maryland Regent and former CEO of Lockheed Martin Norm Augustine, as well as former Emory University President Jim Wagner, to dig into the value of university research.

Aired: October 9, 2019

Episode 8: Support of Civil Education

In April 2019, AGB released a new advisory statement, “Reclaiming Higher Education’s Leadership in Support of Civil Education.” In this episode of Trusteeship Radio, Jonathan Alger, president of James Madison University, and Kristin Hodge-Clark, former AGB vice president for best practice and innovation and a trustee at the College of Saint Benedict, share examples of how civil education works on their campuses, in the classroom and the board room.

Aired: September 9, 2019

Episode 7: Demystifying Endowments

Endowments allow colleges and universities, like other public and charitable organizations, to fund a portion of their work continuously, generation after generation. The ways in which these funds have been solicited from donors, applied to expenses, and stewarded over time are ultimately unique to each institution, and public misconceptions have proliferated on each of these points. Hear from Sandy Baum, a nonresident fellow at the Urban Institute and trustee of Bryn Mawr College, explain why endowments exist, what they provide to institutions and students, and why they are at risk.

Aired: June 24, 2019

Episode 6: Fans or Fiduciaries? Boards and Intercollegiate Athletics

When it comes to intercollegiate athletics, board members should consider the totality of the student experience—from success on the playing fields to success in the classroom. Sometimes, the scales get tipped, and when problems emerge the board can find itself caught up in scandal. Boards need to understand their larger role and accept their accountability.

Aired: April 26, 2019

Episode 5: The public's trust in higher education

Has higher education lost the public’s trust? This episode of Trusteeship Radio explores the realities and data behind confidence in higher education, featuring guests Patricia Brown Holmes, managing partner at Riley, Safer, Holmes, and Cancila and a former Illinois state court judge, and Brandon Busteed, executive director, education and workforce development at Gallup. Listen to these two experts weigh in on the factors that affect public confidence, including cost, access, and political viewpoints. More about AGB’s Guardians Initiative at

Aired: June 20, 2018

Episode 4: Return on investment in higher education

What is the true measure of ROI in higher education? Michelle Tellock, a senior associate at Hogan Lovells, and Horacio Valeiras, a board member at Virginia Tech, discuss how the role of American higher education has evolved in our society. How did the Morrill Land-Grant Acts, the GI Bill, and Pell grants shape the public perception of higher ed, and how is value being discussed in the board room? And what qualitative and quantitative data—including information about civic engagement and public health—should be included in these conversations with the public and legislators?

Aired: January 26, 2018

Episode 3: Innovations in higher education

What is innovation in higher education? Nancy Zimpher, immediate past chancellor of the State University of New York, and Paul LeBlanc, president of Southern New Hampshire University, discuss how innovation applies to higher education, as well as the challenges and opportunities that come with it. Listen to each discuss the board’s role in innovation and mission, as well as effective methods to introduce innovation to the board.

Aired: November 7, 2017

Episode 2: Why does college cost so much?

Having the right information is crucial when responding to questions about why college costs so much. But does it? Most students don’t pay the full “sticker price” once financial aid is taken into consideration. Listen to Sandy Baum, economist and senior fellow at the Urban Institute, discuss the costs and benefits of a college degree—and why you never hear a news story about an unemployed high-school graduate.

Aired: September 19, 2017

Episode 1: It's time to fight for higher education

Higher education is often criticized for its costs and its relevancy. How can you be an advocate for higher education, even when public trust is eroding? Listen to former AGB President Rick Legon and Kevin Reilly, president emeritus of the University of Wisconsin System, discuss how to respond to higher education’s critics in a candid dialogue about these important issues.

Aired: September 19, 2017

Preview Episode: Introduction