American Council of Trustees and Alumni

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

The American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) is an advocacy group founded in 1995 as the National Alumni Forum. The current president of ACTA is Anne D. Neal. Founder Lynne Cheney is now Chairman Emeritus of ACTA and also a member of its National Council.

ACTA states that its goals are to promote academic freedom and diversity, academic excellence, and accountability in higher education. ACTA works works with students, alumni, donors, and trustees in higher education.

ACTA is most well-known for their post 9/11 report "Defending Civilization: How Our Universities Are Failing America and What Can be Done About It". In the report ACTA found American universities insufficiently patriotic, claiming "College and university faculty have been the weak link in America's response to the [September 11th] attack." [] .

A major focus of the organization is to promote what it terms a genuine "marketplace of ideas" through wider intellectual diversity. Other concerns include grade inflation, the dearth of core curricula, and the existence of courses that are seen to lack significant academic substance.

Publications of ACTA include "Inside Academe", its quarterly newsletter, a set of guides for trustees, and multiple reports.

ACTA also gives out the Philip Merrill Award for Outstanding Contributions to Liberal Arts Education each year. This award recognizes individuals who promote the study of Western civilization and American history.


*Lynne Cheney
*Richard Lamm
*Joe Lieberman
*Hank Brown
*David Reisman
*Saul Bellow

National Council

*Chairman: Jerry L. Martin
*Vice Chairman: Richard Lamm
*Jacques Barzun
*William J. Bennett
*Georgie Anne Geyer
*Judith Richards Hope
*Max Kampelman
*Irving Kristol
*Hans Mark
*Martin Peretz
*William K. Tell, Jr.
*Curtin Winsor, Jr.


*"The Shakespeare File: What English Majors Are Really Studying" (1996)
*"The Intelligent Donor’s Guide to College Giving" (1998)
*"A Failure to Set High Standards" (1998)
*"Losing America’s Memory: Historical Illiteracy in the 21st Century" (2000)
*"Defending Civilization: How Our Universities Are Failing America and What Can be Done About It" (2001)
*"Restoring America’s Legacy: The Challenge of Historical Literacy in the 21st Century" (2002)
*"The Basics of Trusteeship" (2002)
*"We the People: A Resource Guide to Outstanding Programs and Projects in American History with a Toolkit for Governors and Legislators" (2003)
*"Becoming an Educated Person: Toward a Core Curriculum for College Students" (2003)
*"Can College Accreditation Live Up to Its Promise?" (2003)
*"Educating Teachers: The Best Minds Speak Out" (2003)
*"Teachers Who Can: How Informed Trustees Can Ensure Teacher Quality" (2003)
*"Degraded Currency: The Problem of Grade Inflation" (2003)
*"Politics in the Classroom" (2004)
*"The Hollow Core: Failure of the General Education Curriculum" (2004)
*"Accountability in Higher Education: Governors Provide Leadership" (2004)
*"Governance in the Public Interest: A Case Study of the University of North Carolina System" (2005)
*"Intellectual Diversity: Time for Action" (2005)
*"How Many Ward Churchills?" (2006)
*"The Vanishing Shakespeare" (2007)

External links

* [ ACTA homepage]
* [ ACTA Blog]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.