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.

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 >>

Spending Endowment Income for Current Use

Why So Little? Mea Culpa
January 2008 by Edward N. Costikyan |
First issued in May 1998, Columbia University trustee emeritus Edward Costikyan focuses on a seminal report issued by the Ford Foundation called "Managing Education… Continue Reading >>

Ending the Standoff

How For-Profit Practices Can Inform Public Higher Education
October 2007 by Phyllis Palmiero |
This essay examines how for-profits have coped with issues of cost and accountability, as potentially fruitful paradigms for those seeking to enhance quality in… Continue Reading >>

The Spellings Commission and You

What Higher Education Trustees Can Do in Light of the Department of Education's Recent Report
October 2007 by ACTA |
According to the Commission on the Future of Higher Education, "urgent reform" is what our nation's universities need, and trustees can help by improving the… Continue Reading >>

The Spellings Commission and You

What State Policymakers Can Do in Light of the Department of Education's Recent Report
October 2007 by ACTA |
According to the Commission on the Future of Higher Education, "urgent reform" is what our nation's universities need, and policymakers can help by improving… Continue Reading >>

A Crisis in Higher Education in America

July 2007 by Harry C. Stille |
Dr. Harry Stille offers some reasons for and solutions to the unbridled growth in higher education spending today. In this essay, he brings the perspective of former… Continue Reading >>

Executive Summary: “Educating School Teachers”

January 2007 by Arthur Levine |
This essay is the executive summary of "Educating Schools Teachers," the second report in a four-part series released by the Education Schools Project on the education… Continue Reading >>

Why Accreditation Doesn’t Work and What Policymakers Can Do About It

January 2007 by ACTA |
This policy paper is intended as a primer for policymakers on lessons learned from decades of experience with the federal system of higher education accreditation.… Continue Reading >>

Fostering Judgment: Sixty Years of Well-Directed Studies

October 2006 by Jose A. Cabranes |
At a time when the study of Western civilization is often under attack, two programs—at Columbia and at Yale-—continue to introduce students to the great… Continue Reading >>

Assessing the President’s Performance

A "How To" Guide for Trustees
August 2006 by ACTA’s Institute for Effective Governance |
Assessing the president's performance is one of the board's primary responsibilities, and its importance is second only to selecting the president. While… Continue Reading >>

Intellectual Diversity

Time for Action
December 2005 by ACTA |
In 2005, a consortium of higher education organizations issued a statement affirming the importance of intellectual diversity. A survey by ACTA found, however, that… Continue Reading >>

Serving as a Responsible Trustee

October 2005 by Drew Miller |
In an era of accountability, what does it mean to be a responsible college and university trustee? What should direct a trustee's actions and what resources… Continue Reading >>

Strategic Planning

And Trustee Responsibility
June 2005 by Candace de Russy by Mitchell Langbert |
There are multiple measures that can give you a picture of how well the institution is achieving its goals relative to the cost. Such measures ought to be a part… Continue Reading >>
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