Trusteeship: March/April 2023

Volume 31,  Number 2   //    March/April 2023

Table of Contents 




College Athletics
What’s New, What’s Next?

By Laura Wilcox

College athletics has been described as “the front porch of the university” because it is the most visible part of American higher education for many onlookers. It’s a cozy description of the juggernaut that is intercollegiate athletics, but the world of college sports is changing so dramatically in myriad and unprecedented ways that divining the impact on the future of higher education presents a tremendous challenge.

Quality Assurance
The Core Principle of Governance

By Cynthia Jackson-Hammond

Every so often new questions arise about the value of higher education, affordability, presidential leadership, governance, and even quality assurance. Are trustees able to respond with clarity and depth of understanding to questions regarding the academic integrity and quality of the university or college they represent?

Better and Better
Leveraging Assessment for Ongoing Board Development

By Theodore E. Long

Rather than taking their own effectiveness for granted or relying on a reputation for quality, colleges and universities now study how well they perform as institutions, using the results as a basis for ongoing self-improvement. Just as the institutions they govern, boards of trustees today are expected to assess their own effectiveness regularly to strengthen their performance. Considered a governance best practice, board assessment constitutes both an imperative and a significant opportunity to strengthen governance across higher education.

Post-COVID-19 Leadership Holds Promise for Renewal in Higher Education

By Eileen L. Strempel and Stephen J. Handel

In interviews conducted with higher education leaders from around the country—mostly presidents of community colleges—the authors reveal that higher education leaders are engaged in activities that hold exciting promise. Far from standing still, these leaders are making changes at their institutions that respond to the post-pandemic world in ways that will redefine higher education for years to come.

Tales of Boldness and Creativity
Recipients of the 2023 Nason Awards for Board Leadership

By Christopher Connell

The pandemic tested the mettle of college and university boards and foundations. In such turbulent times, AGB, in partnership with TIAA, chose five higher education boards to receive the 2023 John W. Nason Award for Board Leadership for facing challenges and surmounting them. The selected institutions mirror the breadth and diversity of the American higher education landscape. They include a Colorado public college in the Rocky Mountains whose board found a creative way to address an acute shortage of housing for students; a private university in Texas that faced head-on the legacy of racism in its past; the foundation of Utah’s second-largest university, which took on the mission of re-vitalizing and diversifying itself; a historically Black university in Louisiana that, rather than resting on its laurels, is building a medical school; and, a community college foundation in an impoverished Massachusetts city that has found ways to support its diverse student body that go beyond financial aid.


Sponsored Content


Building Reputational Risk into Decision-Making
By Simon Barker and Jen Rettig

In today’s fiercely competitive higher education environment an institution’s reputation has never been more important, nor more at risk. Higher education leaders no longer have the luxury of treating institutional reputation as nebulous and essentially unmanageable. Instead, leaders have a fiduciary responsibility to recognize that reputation is an institution’s most valuable—and fragile—intangible asset.


Departments and Columns


On My Agenda
Linking Board Assessments to Public Value
By Henry Stoever

News in Brief
A sampling of national higher education news

Inside AGB

  • AGB Supports Equitable Student Success in Kentucky

Legal Standpoint
What the Future Holds
By Steve Dunham, JD

A Letter to University Boards: Divest From Uyghur Genocide
By Keith Krach

Four Things I Hope to See From U.S. Higher Education in 2023
By David Rosowsky

Focus on the Presidency
The Day Our World Changed Forever
By Paul LeBlanc

A Question for…
Belle Wheelan
By Carol Schuler