Press Releases | Trusteeship

New Trustee Action Plan Outlines Steps for Higher Education Reform

ACTA Calls on 16,000 College and University Trustees to Cut Bloated Budgets, Demand Metrics, Ensure Academic Quality and Represent the Public Interest
November 5, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC—In the face of growing public concern about quality and cost, the American Council of Trustees and Alumni today issued an action plan for college and university trustees to assist them in reforming higher education. The plan provides details on how trustees can represent the public by ensuring students receive a quality education at a reasonable price.

Implementing Governance for a New Era examines key questions trustees must ask in order to gauge effectiveness and covers topics increasingly in the news, including the disinvitation of controversial speakers, grade inflation, outsized athletic programs, faculty course loads, and presidential performance.

“American colleges and universities have long been the envy of the world, but times are changing and unless trustees embrace new strategies to address the new realities, our institutions risk losing that prime position,” said Anne D. Neal, ACTA president. “Trustees must have the tools they need. This action plan provides a roadmap for safeguarding academic quality and affordability.”

The action plan is being sent to 16,000 trustees around the country and echoes the conclusions of an August report, Governance for a New Era, by 22 of the nation’s higher education and civic leaders designed to help America’s colleges and universities shed 20th century thinking and successfully meet 21st century challenges. Trustees are also receiving a wallet card outlining 10 key questions they must ask to ensure data-based decision-making.

Governance for a New Era was the product of a summit of distinguished higher education leaders that focused on finding innovative solutions to the many issues confronting our colleges and universities.  Signatories to the statement include CUNY Board Chairman Benno Schmidt, who chaired the project, former U.S. Senator and past President of the University of Colorado Hank Brown; President of Arizona State University Michael Crow; former Florida Lt. Governor and Chancellor of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Frank Brogan; former Congressman and University of Maryland Regent Tom McMillen; and former Governor of Michigan and President of the Business Roundtable John Engler. 


Launched in 1995, we are the only organization that works with alumni, donors, trustees, and education leaders across the United States to support liberal arts education, uphold high academic standards, safeguard the free exchange of ideas on campus, and ensure that the next generation receives an intellectually rich, high-quality college education at an affordable price.

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