According to a recent Gallup poll conducted for the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB), more than half of trustees agreed that public perception of higher education has deteriorated in the United States over the last decade. They are not all in agreement, however, on the causes of and solution to this problem.


Inside Higher Ed recently reported on AGB’s findings, emphasizing that the majority (92%) of trustees polled wish to change some aspect of higher education. Specific concerns noted included student debt, the price of higher education, and the ability to adapt to the changing needs of students and employers. In addition, the majority of trustees agreed on the importance of liberal arts education but indicated there is a lack of understanding of this importance among the general public.

Many trustees cited barriers to the changes they think are necessary. While some blamed lack of faculty support, others noted lack of support or consensus from institutional leaders.

To further gauge trustee perceptions and concerns, AGB plans to conduct two more surveys over the next two years.

Thinking of this in the context of theological education, do you see any parallels between the concerns noted and the public perception of theological education?

For Inside Higher Ed’s reporting on the survey, read “Many trustees see faculty as barrier to change.”

You can also read AGB’s full report online now.