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Taxpayers Deserve the Best from Colleges and Universities

The future of our economy and the health of our civic institutions depend on the strength of our colleges and universities. Public leaders cannot assume that America's colleges and universities properly serve taxpayers and students in the absence of careful oversight. Governors can provide leadership to trustees and a vision for public higher education. Lawmakers can establish accountability through sound, evidence-based policies. ACTA's thoughtful analysis and understanding of best practices can help elected officials and other higher education leaders be effective in their crucial roles.

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Leading the Charge: Governors, Higher Education, and Accountability

In at least two-thirds of the states, the governor is primarily responsible for appointing trustees of public colleges and universities. One of the most important things a governor can do is ensure that appointees are adequately prepared to take up the fiduciary responsibility of higher education board service. This guide outlines the many ways that ACTA can help with this task.
Representing the Public Interest

Providing Expert Guidance for Lawmakers

State legislatures play a critical role in safeguarding the quality of and improving access to higher education by establishing policies that promote strong civic education standards, the free expression of ideas on campus, and prudent oversight of public resources. Read ACTA’s policy brief to learn how state legislators can support trustees and lead institutions to better outcomes for students and taxpayers.

ACTA regularly provides expert testimony to legislatures across the country, most recently in South Dakota in support of a measure to protect intellectual diversity, in Michigan in favor of free speech protections for college students, and in Maryland to endorse a measure to strengthen civic education at public universities. In prior years, ACTA has addressed numerous state legislative committees and has often testified before U.S. Senate and House committees.

Reforming Accreditation

For more than 60 years, accreditation has been the congressional safeguard for billions of taxpayer dollars disbursed in federal grants and loans to students. However, while Americans spend billions of their hard-earned funds, academic quality is down and costs are up. ACTA’s Accreditation: What It Is, What’s Wrong with It, and How to Fix It identifies three ways that Congress can revolutionize quality assurance in higher education so that college can become a better return on investment for millions of Americans.

ACTA is at the forefront of efforts to promote innovation by protecting institutional autonomy from accreditor overreach into trustee governance. Since 2006, ACTA Senior Fellow Anne Neal has served on the federal National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI), where she is a strong advocate for reform of accreditation. Today, ACTA continues to drive the conversation by providing briefings on Capitol Hill and presenting thoughtful public commentary—including most recently a chapter addressing the systemic failures of accreditation for the seminal volume Accreditation on the Edge, published by Johns Hopkins University press.


ACTA Applauds Rep. Greg Murphy for Introducing House Resolution 770 to Protect Free Speech On Campus

Washington, DC—Congressman Greg Murphy (NC-03) is making the protection of free speech on […]

November 10, 2021 by ACTA
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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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