ACTA is an independent, non-profit organization committed to academic freedom, excellence, and accountability at America's colleges and universities.

ACTA is an independent, non-profit organization committed to academic freedom, excellence, and accountability at America's colleges and universities.

ACTA is an independent, non-profit organization committed to academic freedom, excellence, and accountability at America's colleges and universities.

Guides & Essays

ACTA and its Institute for Effective Governance provide information on best practices in higher education and help trustees and policymakers address practical challenges of governance.

Setting Academic Priorities

A Guide to What Boards of Trustees Can Do
May 2012 by ACTA’s Institute for Effective Governance |
Higher education is in the midst of a deep financial crisis, and the failure of governing boards to focus on academic programs is arguably the single greatest cause… Continue Reading >>

Substance Abuse on Campus

What Trustees Should Know
February 2012 by ACTA’s Institute for Effective Governance |
Get the facts about what's going on at campuses across the country and how universities' failure to emphasize their academic mission has created a vacuum… Continue Reading >>

The Intelligent Donor’s Guide to College Giving

Second Edition
April 2011 by Anne D. Neal by Michael Poliakoff |
This guide provides step-by-step instructions for donors on how to target their giving, with profiles of successful gifts. American philanthropists long have been… Continue Reading >>

Lessons of the CUNY Transformation

January 2011 |
Remarks by City University of New York Board of Trustees chairman Benno Schmidt upon accepting the 2010 Philip Merrill Award for Outstanding Contributions to Liberal… Continue Reading >>

Freedom of Association

Supreme Court Decisions? CLS versus Martinez
September 2010 by ACTA |
How does it affect your campus? What can you do? A robust, vigorous mix of ideas is the lifeblood of effective higher eductation. But the broad range of student-run… Continue Reading >>

Cutting Costs

A Trustee's Guide to Tough Economic Times
July 2010 by Michael Poliakoff |
With colleges and universities across the country feeling the pinch, this guide argues that trustees can no longer continue to reflexively increase tuition and ask… Continue Reading >>

Open to the Public

Making public university leaders in government transparency—a checklist of questions and answers
May 2010 by ACTA by Illinois Policy Institute |
Trustees are fiduciaries and at the heart of fiduciary responsibility is transparency. The following is a brief checklist of 14 key indicators that state public… Continue Reading >>

In Pursuit of Academic Excellence

The Story of the City University of New York and its Lessons for American Higher Education
April 2010 by Sandra E. Diaz |
This essay retraces the history of the CUNY renaissance and shows how the largest urban public university system in the country emerged as a model for successful… Continue Reading >>

Trouble in the Dorms

A Guide to Residential Life Programs for Higher Education Trustees
October 2009 by ACTA’s Institute for Effective Governance |
This guide briefly retraces the rise of ideologically charged residential life programming on campuses and shows how such programs, despite their seemingly innocuous… Continue Reading >>

Restoring a Core

How Trustees Can Ensure Meaningful General Education Requirements
September 2009 by ACTA’s Institute for Effective Governance |
In light of the findings in What Will They Learn? that many of our leading universities have a diffuse and impoverished curriculum, this companion guide provides… Continue Reading >>

Protecting the Free Exchange of Ideas

How Trustees Can Advance Intellectual Diversity on Campus
June 2009 by ACTA’s Institute for Effective Governance |
This report features ten best practices, gleaned from colleges and universities across the country, for promoting the free exchange of ideas in and out of the classroom.… Continue Reading >>

Measuring Up

The Problem of Grade Inflation and What Trustees Can Do
February 2009 by ACTA’s Institute for Effective Governance |
This guide suggests various strategies that boards of trustees can adopt to curb the problem of grade inflation at their schools. Addressing grade inflation is one… Continue Reading >>

The Higher Education Opportunity Act and You

What the Legislation Means for Boards of Trustees
February 2009 by ACTA’s Institute for Effective Governance |
This guide looks at several key provisions of the new Higher Education Act and outlines what you, as a trustee, can do. The HEOA, which passed the House and Senate… Continue Reading >>

Lessons for Alumni and Trustees

February 2009 by Anne D. Neal |
In a paper commissioned by the Hudson Institute's Bradley Center for Philanthropy and Civic Renewal, ACTA draws out the implications of the settlement in Robertson… Continue Reading >>

Metrics for Effective Governance

November 2008 by G.L. Peter Alcock, Jr. |
This essay recommends a set of performance indicators that enables governing boards to measure institutional success in attaining agreed-upon goals. Continue Reading >>
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