What are the top concerns for the future of higher education as identified by board members serving at private, nonprofit colleges and universities across the United States?

According to The AGB 2018 Trustee Index, they are:

  • Price of higher education for students and their families.

  • Financial sustainability of higher education.

  • Student debt.

That list looks familiar.

This index, published by the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB), focuses specifically on issues related to the affordability and value of higher education.

The AGB report concludes by suggesting that board members are not only critical leaders for sustainability and viability, but that as advocates they play a key role in the positive value proposition for higher education.

Another report, Leading with Intent: 2017 National Index of Nonprofit Board Practices, published by BoardSource, tracks trends in nonprofit board leadership and confirms results of the AGB index. 

This 57-page study describes current practices based on surveying executive leadership at 1,300 nonprofits in four key areas — people, culture, work, and impact.

One of the most striking findings: At a time when all agree that governing boards need to focus on strategic issues, only 26 percent of respondents report that board meetings focus on strategy and policy versus operational issues. And most board members still need to embrace their roles as advocates on behalf of the institutions they serve.

Both reports offer opportunities to begin or continue critical conversations with your board. Interested in discussing how to get started? Email us at resources@intrust.org for some ideas.