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ERIC Number: ED505830
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 16
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
Strengthening Board Capacity for Strategic Financial Oversight
Wellman, Jane V.
Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges
This paper is the last in a series of reports and initiatives in AGB's Cost Project. The project was 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. While some institutions have been at the forefront of change through reengineering of core functions and focusing new attention on resource management, more needs to be done to identify 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 have been goals of The Cost Project. In this work, AGB has collaborated with other groups interested in contributing to the agenda. This series of "The Cost Project" covers: (1) Changing demographics, competition for students and resources, and rapidly evolving financial structures are putting new types of fiscal stress on the great majority of institutions; (2) Across higher education, there is a growing financial divide between resources going to support the core instructional program and financing for research, service, and other ancillary activities; (3) Along with admissions selectivity and faculty credentials, revenues are widely seen as indicators of institutional quality; (4) Balancing the funding needs of open-access institutions with the expectations for funding to maintain quality in the more selective institutions is one of the most difficult issues faced by public multicampus governing and coordinating boards; and (5) Board attention to strategic costs should primarily be on the core educational program, with particular attention to changing patterns of cost, price, and subsidy relationships. (Contains 3 tables, 4 figures and 5 footnotes.)
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:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Robert W. Woodruff Foundation
Authoring Institution: Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges