Student debt, graduation rates and a variety of other issues confront higher education today. Meanwhile, corporate governance changes are occurring, in part, because of a different economy, global markets and new legal requirements. A big issue is: Can education benefit from the administrative changes public companies experience?
Corporate governance experienced major changes in this century as a result of two congressional acts, Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd/Frank. More transparency and additional responsibility to shareholders resulted in changes to corporate organizational structure, board of directors, their organizational structure and senior management. The changes are not over. Board member election, evaluation, committee structure and other issues remain a concern to investors.
The shareholders of higher education, the students, teachers and taxpayers are also undergoing economic pressure. Student debt, falling graduation rates, tuition increases and intense competition for jobs among bachelor’s degree recipients are but a few of the changes. The future of universities may be better addressed with modifications to trustee selection, administrative practice and expectations of faculty.