Some state funding for Ky. colleges will depend on meeting graduation goals

09/09/2011 08:00 AM

Higher education leaders will propose linking some state funding for public colleges and universities to how well those institutions live up to graduation and retention goals.

Robert King, president of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, said the council and university presidents are working on the details of the proposal as part of the higher education budget request for 2013-2014 that will be submitted to the legislature this winter.

The presidents haven’t settled on how much of their state funding will be linked to performance measures or what happens to leftover money for colleges that don’t meet their individual goals, King said.

But the presidents of the eight public universities and the community and technical college systems have agreed that a portion of state funding should depend on how well each institution does at meeting certain performance goals.

“The markers we’re looking at are the important things,” said Wayne Andrews, president of Morehead State University. “Are we making progress toward degree completion (and) on our retention goals? Are we closing the performance gaps between the students that come in under-prepared and those fully prepared?”

“I think it will challenge colleges and universities to focus on things that will contribute to the statewide and national goals,” Andrews added. “So in the end, it’s a good thing.”

The move to performance-based funding comes as university officials are expected to ask for a bump in state funding after the levels of state support have dropped in recent years. That has shifted more of the cost onto students, who have seen tuition rates jump over the last decade.

About 26 states have tagged some state money for performance based funding over the last 20 years. Some states, such as Ohio and Pennsylvania, have seen strong gains in their public college graduation rates, campus diversity and faculty productivity as a result of that approach, according to a June 2011 report by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.

To view that report, download it here: Performance_Funding_AASCU_June2011.pdf


Subscribe to email updates.

Subscribe and get the latest political intelligence delivered to your inbox.