AGB Releases 2012 Survey of Higher Education Governance, Finds Gap between Board Members’ and the Public’s Concerns

Ann McClure's picture
Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) has released its third survey of higher education governance, The 2012 AGB Survey of Higher Education Governance. College Prices, Costs, and Outcomes: Who’s Minding the Gap between Higher Education and the Public? The survey of more than 2,500 board members of both public and independent universities and colleges focused on board member perceptions about college prices, costs, and outcomes and the often considerable disparity between board members’ views about their own institutions and their thoughts about higher education in general.

Key findings include the discovery that fully one-fifth (21 percent) of board members surveyed disagreed with the statement “The United States needs more of our citizens to earn college degrees,” raising a fundamental question about how board members view their board service and the mission of higher education. In addition, most board members believe that higher education in general costs too much, but not at their own institution.

“What makes this survey important is the insight into how board members perceive public concerns about higher education—its price, cost, and outcomes—and their subsequent actions in the boardroom,” said AGB Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Susan Whealler Johnston. “And what we have noticed is there’s a major gap between the two.”

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