ERIC Number: ED505829
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Reference Count: 0
What Boards Are Doing--and Not Doing--in Reviewing Institutional Costs
Wellman, Jane V.
Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges
This paper is the third in a series of reports and initiatives in AGB's Cost Project. The project is designed to build governing board capacity to monitor institutional costs effectively and strategically. Costs and productivity are not new issues in higher education. AGB and its member governing boards have long recognized the importance of responsible stewardship of institutional resources as central to the work of effective boards. But the rapidly changing environment in higher education has brought a new urgency to the topic. Many institutions have been at the forefront of change, having reengineered core functions and decentralized responsibilities for resource management. The Cost Project intends to identify such successes and promote them broadly within the higher education community. AGB is mindful that containing costs and sustaining quality require active partnerships among institutional leaders and others in the higher education and public-policy communities. A comprehensive effort needs to be built--to forge partnerships, to make the conversation more data-driven, to connect better with public audiences, and to find strategies to reach out to accreditation agencies and others concerned about ways to sustain quality and improve institutional effectiveness. While institutional chief executives must lead such efforts, boards should be actively engaged in these issues. Encouraging and enriching this process are goals of The Cost Project. As it continues this work, AGB will collaborate with other groups interested in contributing to the agenda. The survey was sponsored and conducted by AGB in collaboration with the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO). The survey population included 2,131 CFOs, drawn from member institutions of AGB and NACUBO, stratified into groups of public four-year, public two-year, and private two-year and private four-year institutions. The survey was administered online over four weeks from December 15, 2006, to January 15, 2007. The survey was preceded by a letter to AGB-member presidents, informing them of the survey and inviting questions about it. Responses were received from 733 institutions--about 26 percent of the survey recipients (after correcting for duplicate responses and undeliverable e-mail). Response rates were highest (50 percent) among the "administrative units" (system offices), followed by 32 percent for private four-year institutions, 22 percent for public four-year institutions, and 18 percent for two-year institutions, both public and private. Responses from private two-year institutions were excluded from the subsequent analysis because of the small number in this category. The remaining groups are statistically valid for the sectors as a whole.
Descriptors: Higher Education, Governing Boards, Costs, College Administration, Educational Finance, National Surveys, Financial Policy, Money Management, Guidelines, Program Descriptions
Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges. 1133 20th Street NW Suite 300, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-356-6317; Tel: 202-296-8400; Fax: 202-223-7053; Web site: http://www.agb.org
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Sponsor: Robert W. Woodruff Foundation
Authoring Institution: Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges