College Trustees and Student Learning

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Despite the fact that boards of trustees exert incredible power over their colleges, College Guide doesn’t look into their influence too often.

This is unfortunate; because it turns out college trustees might have a real role in higher education reform. The Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) has just released its new survey of college and university trustees and it turns out that governing boards are interested in student learning outcomes. According to the survey:

Half of respondents reported that their board receives information about student learning at least once a year. Nearly two-thirds (61.5 percent) feel that not enough time is spent in board meetings on student-learning outcomes. About half of respondents indicated that they learn about their fiduciary responsibility for monitoring student learning when their institutions prepare for re-accreditation.

That being said, boards’ primary responsibilities are financial and, “less than one-quarter reported using student-learning information to make budget decisions,” according to the AGB.

American colleges have historically been very opposed to revealing information about how much students actually learn in their institutions. [Image via]

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Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer