The State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO) has released its Fiscal Year 2021 SHEEO Membership Report

SHEEO represents the executive officers of statewide governing and coordinating/policy boards responsible for overseeing higher education in their state. SHEEO has 61 members representing all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Northern Mariana Islands. The annual Membership Report uses data from its members to provide an in-depth look at SHEEO agency resources such as staff size, operating budgets, and functions performed. The report further captures demographic data of SHEEOs, SHEEO agency senior leaders, and SHEEO agency staff. The SHEEO Membership Report was expanded for FY21 to include data about the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the addition of more agency functions to better encapsulate the duties of the SHEEO agency. Key findings of the latest Membership Report include:

  • On average, governing boards have a higher operating budget per FTE staff than coordinating/policy boards, yet for the first time since measuring, both governance types have the same median staff sizes (60 FTE).
  • Governing boards tend to perform a wider variety of surveyed functions, especially those regarding staffing/personnel matters and state budgetary and fiscal policy. Coordinating/policy boards tend to take on more state-level planning and strategizing while also administering statewide grant and loan programs.
  • Comparatively, overall agency staff has a more diverse demographic makeup by race, Hispanic or Latino origin, and sex than agency senior leadership and the SHEEO positions.
  • SHEEO agency responses to the COVID-19 pandemic involved dealing with an abrupt transition to remote work and reduced budgetary and staff capacity. Forty-one percent of member agencies experienced some sort of budget cuts, and 13% of agencies were forced to lay off staff.  
  • The COVID-19 pandemic obligated SHEEO agencies to take on new, unforeseen duties. New responsibilities included routinely convening institutional leaders statewide to triage solutions, overseeing the disbursement and use of education-related federal COVID-19 relief funds, and aiding their states in COVID-19 response measures.

SHEEO President Robert Anderson said, “As states continue to respond to impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, tough decisions regarding budgets, staffing, and purpose have been and will continue to be made. The data in this report can help illuminate a path for SHEEO agencies to ensure their staffing is able to accommodate new changes and current responsibilities. These data will help our members draw comparisons to like agencies and develop new policies, procedures, and practices moving forward.”

The Membership Report website features additional resources for analysis, including downloadable agency-level data and dynamic Agency Profiles for an individualized lens.


About the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO) The State Higher Education Executive Officers Association serves the executives of statewide governing, policy, and coordinating boards of postsecondary education and their staffs. Founded in 1954, SHEEO promotes an environment that values higher education and its role in ensuring the equitable education of all Americans, regardless of race/ethnicity, gender, or socioeconomic factors. Together with its members, SHEEO aims to achieve this vision by equipping state higher education executive officers and their staffs with the tools to effectively advance the value of higher education, promoting public policies and academic practices that enable all Americans to achieve success in the 21st century, and serving as an advocate for state higher education leadership.