Governing Board Best Practices Project

What if we empowered the tens of thousands of college trustees who govern our nation’s colleges and universities with the information they needed to be champions of college affordability at their institutions? What if college presidents and trustees shared a vision and worked together on plans to increase the value of higher education by reducing costs while maintaining quality for students?

At a time in our nation’s history when questions of equity are reshaping policy, what if higher education leaders contributed to this cause by prioritizing the financial well-being of underrepresented students? And how would this shared vision of higher education leadership focused on affordability and equity be realized in a post-COVID-19 world? 

Thanks to the ECMC Foundation and the Michelson 20MM Foundation, Partners for College Affordability and Public Trust will take the first steps in making this vision of empowered trustees a reality.


Project Description

We start by documenting the best practices in a landscape study of institutions or systems that have experienced some success, whether on a small or large scale, in making college more affordable in measurable ways particularly for underrepresented students.

Then we will conduct a handful of case studies to dig deeper and answer important questions, including: What role did governing board members play in bringing about the desired change? How did they collaborate with college presidents and administrators to bring about success? What data did they use to aid their decision making? Finally, we’ll conduct a national survey of trustees to find out how prepared they are for implementing changes that lead to more affordability.  

And when we’re done, we’re going to work with our organizational collaborators to tell the nation’s higher education leaders what was learned and inspire a curiosity for importing best practices to institutions across this country.   

For additional information, see FAQ section below.


How to Participate

Are you a trustee, administrator, or faculty at a college or university with a success story to tell on college affordability?

Maybe you work in a higher education state system office or in research, policy or advocacy and know of a program that has led to measurable change particularly for underrepresented students.

If yes, we want to hear from you! Self-nominations are welcomed.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
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If you have ideas for how to improve this project, or are interested in the results or helping us disseminate them, please send an email to the project director Dr. James Toscano at james@pcapt.org.

Frequently Asked Questions

"What is the benefit to my institution or system for participation in a case study?"
"How many case studies will there be?"
"Which type of institutions can participate in the project?"
"What is involved in a case study, and when will it take place?"
"Does it cost anything for an institution to participate in the case studies?"
"How will cases be selected?"
"What if my governing board/college president was a reluctant champion for my institution’s affordability program?"
"Who is funding this work?"