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.

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 >>

Improving University Performance Through Measurement and Management

October 2008 by Elizabeth D. Capaldi |
Universities and colleges are powerhouses of economic development and crucial to the competitiveness of our country. This paper reviews how trustees can maximize… Continue Reading >>

Reviewing Post-Tenure Review

September 2008 by Anne D. Neal |
In the September/October 2008 issue of Academe, published by the American Association of University Professors, ACTA describes the public's significant lack… Continue Reading >>
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