Prioritizing Academic Programs:
Making and Acting on Hard Choices

Original Broadcast: October 25, 2012

Program Producers

Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)
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Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB)
AGB Home
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What previous participants said:

"Timely and persuasive. Excellent!"

"This was simply exceptional. Excellent topic, excellent speaker."

"Well-presented, interesting, dynamic, and thought-provoking

"Very helpful to clarify/organize thought process."

Program Presenters

Robert C. Dickeson
President Emeritus
University of Northern Colorado

Robert C. Dickeson provides counsel from multiple leadership perspectives: chair of the governor's cabinets in two states, university president, business CEO, and foundation executive. Dickeson served as the director of the department of administration and chair of the cabinet of Arizona Gov. Bruce Babbitt; and chief of staff, executive director of the Office of State Planning and Budget, and chair of the cabinet of Colorado Gov. Roy Romer. He served in administrative posts at three universities and was president of the University of Northern Colorado from 1981-91. He served as president and CEO of Noel-Levitz Centers Inc, division president of USA Enterprises Inc, and senior vice president of USA Group Inc., heading the USA Group Foundation. From 2000 to 2005, he was co-founder and senior vice president of Lumina Foundation for Education.

While at Lumina Foundation, he led the national initiative on college costs, based on his monograph, Collision Course: Rising College Costs Threaten America's Future and Require Shared Solutions (Lumina Foundation, 2004). His book, Prioritizing Academic Programs and Services (Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1999, 2010), was based on his extensive consulting experiences, including serving several hundred two- and four-year colleges (private and public) and corporations ranging from hospitals to bank holding companies. During 2006, he served as senior policy adviser to the Spellings Commission on the Future of Higher Education.

Peter Eckel
Vice President, Governance and Leadership Programs
Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB)

Peter Eckel serves as the vice president for governance and leadership programs at the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB). He is responsible for AGB Consulting as well as the National Conference on Trusteeship, the Institute for Board Chairs and Presidents, AGB Regional Meetings on Effective Governance, and the Presidents Workshop on Trusteeship. He is the point person for a national project on the board’s oversight of educational quality, and is working on efforts related to the governance of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and shared governance.

Eckel has written and spoken extensively on academic leadership, institutional change, and campus governance. He has written/edited six books, most recently Changing Course: Making the Hard Decisions to Eliminate Academic Programs and Privatizing the Public University: Perspectives from Across the Academy, and 22 nationally disseminated papers as well as numerous articles and book chapters. He was the lead author of The CAO Census, the first national study of chief academic officers. His papers have appeared in Trusteeship, Change Magazine, The Journal of Higher Education, The Review of Higher Education, and Higher Education Policy, among others. Internationally, he has spoken in Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, South Africa, Ireland, and France.

Eckel additionally serves as adjunct professor (Full) in the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education, teaching in its executive doctorate program. Prior to joining AGB, he served as the director of the Center for Effective Leadership at the American Council on Education (ACE), where he created and ran the ACE Institute for New Chief Academic Officers, the Advancing to the Presidency Workshop, and the ACE Presidential Roundtable Series. He earned his doctorate from the University of Maryland, College Park in education policy, planning and administration. He was recognized with the Thomas Magoon Distinguished Alumni Award from the Department of Counseling and Personnel Services, from which he received his master’s degree.


Thomas C. Longin
Senior Fellow & Consultant
Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB)
Thomas C. Longin is the former vice president for programs and research for the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB). He came to this position in February 1997 and retired in December 2002. Prior to joining AGB, he served for 12 years as provost of Ithaca College (NY) and for three years as vice president for academic affairs at Seattle University. He was dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences at Ithaca College from 1976 until 1982, and before that, a faculty member at Ithaca College, Virginia Tech, and Carroll College (MT). Since retiring, Longin has continued to facilitate board workshops for AGB, serves as executive editor of Planning for Higher Education (SCUP), and has engaged in consultancies on strategic planning (Centre College, KY and Carroll College - MT); on board and committee organization, structure and focus (Seton Hall University and Loyola University New Orleans); on board, educational quality, and academic programs (Centenary College – LA); and on collaborative governance (University of Maine – Orono, Skidmore College, and Hampshire College - MA). He recently led AGB’s pilot project on strategic finance and college/university costs.

Longin has extensive administrative and leadership experience in higher education. He was a charter leader of the Associated New American Colleges, a consortium of 20 independent, comprehensive colleges across the country, and has been a frequent presenter at conferences and workshops on issues of institutional governance, the basic responsibilities of governing boards, and board responsibility for governance, institutional planning, and academic affairs.  Most recently, he has spoken at the national conferences of the AGB, SCUP, and the American Association of Colleges and Universities.

In the past five years, Longin has facilitated AGB Board Self-Study Workshops at Hampshire College (MA), Minneapolis College of Art & Design (MN), Scranton University (PA), College of the Marshall Islands (RMI), Pitzer College (CA), Longwood University (VA), Waldorf College (MN), Columbia College Chicago (Ill), Westminster College (UT), Defiance College (OH), Heidelberg College (OH), Loras College (IA), and Ringling School of Art and Design (FL). He has presented Board Education Workshops at Loyola University New Orleans (strategic planning), Florida Memorial University (board responsibilities), Salem State College (MA) (presidential search), the University of Maine System (shared governance), Cottey College (MO) (presidential search), and DeSales University (PA) (strategic planning).

Prior to joining AGB, Longin served on and chaired the board of directors of the Special Children’s Center in Ithaca, NY, and was a member of the Council for the Arts in Ithaca. In the fall of 2002, he joined the board of trustees of his alma mater, Carroll College (MT), where he chairs the academic affairs / student life committee, serves on the trusteeship committee, and is a member of the executive committee. Longin holds a Ph.D. in American social and intellectual history from the University of Nebraska (Lincoln), a master of arts in history from Creighton University (NB), and a bachelor of arts in history from Carroll College (MT).


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