What Is the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO)?

The National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) is a membership organization of universities and other institutions involved in American higher education. The organization represents more than 1,900 educational institutions in the United States. It does this through public outreach and political lobbying, while also offering discounts and other benefits to its members.

Key Takeaways

  • NACUBO represents more than 1,900 colleges and higher education institutions.
  • NACUBO serves members through political advocacy, industry conferences, and other methods for sharing industry best practices.
  • Business Officer is its monthly magazine covering topics such as the integration of new technologies and providing case studies of successful solutions found by member institutions.

How NACUBO Works

NACUBO's stated purpose is to empower member organizations to fulfill their respective mandates. In practice, this involves contributing to research projects relevant to the colleges and universities that are its members, while also representing the interests of the educational sector in Washington, DC, and beyond. NACUBO lists community colleges, research universities, small institutions, and four-year public and independent institutions among its members.

In addition to its research and lobbying activities, NACUBO helps ensure that best practices in the educational sector are shared broadly among its members. To accomplish this, the organization maintains an online forum known as the NACUBO Online Community. Through this resource, members are encouraged to share solutions to common problems such as environmental sustainability issues, human resources (HR), budgeting, and disaster preparedness. NACUBO also frequently commissions its own studies to shed light on trending issues, benchmarking resources for areas such as student financial services, and more.

NACUBO hosts an annual meeting bringing together experts in the educational sector, along with conferences and workshops catering to specialized topics such as university endowment issues, student financial services, and financial reporting. In 2020, the organization celebrated its 50th annual meeting, dedicated to discussing the future of the higher-education industry.

Real-World Example of NACUBO

One of NACUBO’s best-known initiatives is its Business Officer magazine, which is focused on administrative officials working in American colleges and universities. The publication aims to shed light on the major issues faced by educational institutions, such as the rise of automation and the unique preferences and needs of millennial and Gen Z students.

This magazine, which is published once per month, divides its content into six key areas:

  • "Business Intel" concerns potential solutions to common problems faced by NACUBO members.
  • "Vantage Point" shares organizational success stories.
  • "Advocacy and Action" is focused on NACUBO’s lobbying activities.
  • "NACUBO Notes" provides general updates concerning NACUBO's initiatives.
  • "Back Story" offers interview-based case studies of members.
  • "Leader’s Edge" shares the leadership philosophies of member institutions.