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.

Moody’s: “More university governance controversies are likely”

July 13, 2012 by Armand B. Alacbay

Trustees of institutions of higher education are more likely to be faced with contentious, high profile policy decisions in coming years, according to a July report by Moody's Investor Service. The report describes the recent dispute between the University of Virginia's Board of Visitors and President Teresa A. Sullivan as "a symptom of broader stress in the education sector" and warns that "[m]ore university governance controversies are likely in coming years as the sector adapts to tougher economic realities."

However, the impact of governing boards' decisions will be greatest not at large research institutions like U-Va., but those "which operate with small endowments, weak selectivity, and high dependence on student tuition and/or state funding," according to the report. Moody's cites changes in the percentages of tenured faculty at most institutions as "strengthen[ing] the hand of the board and president to deal with economic challenges quickly."

ACTA offers a variety of resources to help trustees develop innovative solutions during these difficult economic times. Both Cutting Costs: A Trustee's Guide to Tough Economic Times and Setting Academic Priorities: A Guide to What Boards of Trustees Can Do offer excellent starting points for discussion.

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