Colleges Need Informed and Engaged Trustees

Academic quality, affordability, and accountability rarely happen on their own—they require exceptional leaders. And trustees are the key. They are in a unique position to be independent arbiters who can balance competing institutional demands with the public interest. They can provide a broad and fresh perspective and an openness to innovation. But they can only make this contribution if they have clear and reliable information and the resources they need—which ACTA is here to provide.

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Be an Informed Board Member

Colleges and universities depend on informed and engaged trustees. ACTA’s tools and resources equip board members to be effective fiduciaries for America’s institutions of higher education. Be prepared for your next board meeting with ACTA’s trustee toolkit.

Subject Matter Expertise

ACTA produces timely, informative materials designed to bring trustees authoritative insights on key topics in higher education and nonprofit governance. ACTA’s signature publication, Governance for a New Era®, is the product of a summit of 22 national higher education leaders chaired by former City University of New York board chair and former Yale University president Benno Schmidt. This blueprint for higher education trustees shows how governing boards can provide the engaged, visionary stewardship that the next quarter century will demand.

ACTA’s How Colleges Spend Money interactive web tool provides trustees with a practical resource to address skyrocketing trends in college costs that limit student access and institutional effectiveness. The site arms higher education leaders with quantitative analysis for over 1,500 institutions that will enable data-informed decisions by governing boards.

Trustee Seminars

ACTA’s regional seminars keep trustees abreast of emerging trends in higher education through small-group discussions with distinguished educators and policymakers, such as former Pennsylvania governor—and former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security—Tom Ridge, and award-winning historian Allen Guelzo. Recent seminar topics have included confronting the issue of campus substance use, the board’s role in protecting the free exchange of ideas on campus, and practical ways for trustees to exercise academic oversight.

Customized Services

ACTA’s Institute for Effective Governance® (IEG), founded by college and university trustees, provides independent information to trustees in order to help them focus on critical issues of academic quality, academic freedom, and accountability. IEG’s single or half-day board services programs offer the opportunity for a board to undertake a deeper exploration of specific topics and to formulate a concrete action plan toward meaningful progress.

In addition, ACTA regularly provides consultation services for individual trustees seeking to learn more about best practices, establishing and understanding benchmarks and metrics, as well as other matters pertinent to their specific institution.


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June 20, 2024 by Destiny Herbers
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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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