Higher education institutions are facing ever-increasing amounts of scrutiny and pressure as the importance of a college education to both individual success and a healthy economy becomes more apparent. Yet institutions acting on their own will struggle to navigate an increasingly perilous pathway in states that have unfavorable demographic futures combined with state disinvestment, as many do. State higher education agencies and multi-campus systems can add value by exercising bold, decisive, and forward-thinking policy leadership that promotes a systems approach, marked by cross-institutional collaboration, to solving these challenges. Brian Prescott will lead a discussion with Aaron Thompson (Kentucky Council on Post-Secondary Education) and Jason Lane (State University of New York). They will focus on how the role of state higher education agencies and multi-campus systems is evolving to help meet the demands to achieve attainment goals and close equity gaps – even as resources are stretched thin.