Home > Educational Leadership, Higher Education > Trustees Are Pressed to Demand Data About Educational Quality at the Colleges They Serve

Trustees Are Pressed to Demand Data About Educational Quality at the Colleges They Serve

By Jack Stripling

In an environment where lawmakers and the public at large are raising tough questions about the quality of higher education, college trustees are being pressed to apply the same type of scrutiny to their institutions. Assembled at the annual meeting of the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges here on Monday, college trustees wrestled with their dual roles as the biggest cheerleaders and harshest skeptics of the institutions they serve. David W. Miles, president of the Iowa Board of Regents and a participant on a panel about governance challenges, suggested college boards will gain credibility only if “no one is asking harder questions of our institutions than we are.”

Mr. Miles’s suggestion mirrors a statement issued on Monday by the governing-boards association. Boards should be demanding more information about student-learning outcomes at their colleges, while showing deference to faculty expertise in shaping curricula and creating the tools to assess educational quality, the statement reads.

The statement follows a 2010 association survey of board engagement, which found that 62 percent of trustees thought their boards spent insufficient time discussing student-learning outcomes. Without concrete data showing student achievement, such as graduation rates and passage rates for professional examinations, trustees will be unable to respond to increasing questions about the true value of degrees their college’s award, speakers here said.

Continued at: http://chronicle.com/article/Trustees-Are-Pressed-to-Demand/127012/

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