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Trustees | Costs

Setting Academic Priorities

A Guide to What Boards of Trustees Can Do
May 1, 2012 Download PDF

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 of overspending. This brochure shows trustees both why and how to prioritize academic programs. All too often, attempts to reduce expenses have concentrated on the administrative side of the budget, and academic matters have been considered the sole province of the faculty. But the future of colleges and universities may well depend on the willingness of trustees to make clear decisions about academic priorities. Prudent action now will position schools to not only weather the current economic problems but emerge as stronger academic institutions.

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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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