Mergers and Affiliations Toolkit

How to use this toolkit.

The business model for higher education is under severe stress. There is more capacity than student demand, consumer behaviors have changed, and deflationary forces are diminishing tuition revenues. Increasing numbers of institutions are closing their doors in the face of financial difficulty. Some are finding ways to continue advancing their missions through innovation and objective decision-making.

Today’s boards must be critical leadership partners and advocates for their institutions, systems, or foundations, and they cannot afford to take a laissez-faire approach to the sustainability of mission. Among the fundamental responsibilities of higher education leaders and boards is how to preserve and advance the mission of the institution in the face of disruptive changes. Boards face major governance decisions, including maintaining independence, merging with other institutions, or developing strategic affiliations that consolidate strengths. In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, these issues now become more critical than ever. 

To help boards navigate a range of options, AGB has developed the Mergers and Affiliations Toolkit, which includes a host of resources that enable board members to learn, evaluate options, and develop a strategy that makes sense. Take the following steps to get started.

  1. Schedule a board meeting to discuss toolkit resources. (Note: An AGB facilitator can walk you through the items in this toolkit. Contact AGB Consulting for more information and assistance.)
  2. Discuss how the board and institutional leadership might work together to implement lessons learned and recommendations from this toolkit.
  3. Follow up with AGB for support. AGB experts can help you develop a strategy and explore options.

Understanding the Landscape

Trusteeship magazine cover May June 2019
Mergers and Affiliations

Trusteeship magazine, May/June 2019
Rick Beyer

Higher Education Business Models Under Stress

Podcast
Featuring Melody Rose and Larry D. Large

Planning and Assessment

Growth and Transformation

Trusteeship magazine, January/February 2018
Jeff A. Weiss

Excerpt from Higher Education Business Models Under Stress

Chapter 2: Stress Testing the Business Model

2021
Melody Rose and Larry D. Large

Learning from Others

College at a Crossroads: Closures and Mergers

Trusteeship magazine, May/June 2020
David Tobenkin

Transitioning with Grace

Blog Post
Melody Rose

Lessons for the Boardroom on Mergers and Affiliations

Webinar on Demand
Featuring Rick Beyer