Page 1



Education group hears funding plan for higher ed Continued from Page 1 follow funding,” Russell told the bipartisan group of Senate and House members, including Rep. Denny Hoskins, Sen.-elect Jason Holsman and Sen. Scott Rupp. Russell said elected officials want performance results to follow state funds. To that end, education groups want lawmakers to increase funding for higher education, with half of the increase earmarked to reward good results. “Performance funding will only involve new funding above the base appropriation,” Russell suggested. Institutions would compete for performance funds, but not head to head, he said. “We’re not comparing neighbor to neighbor,” Russell said, but instead would have institutions seek to better their own performance. For example, the community college completion rate takes typically three years, but performance pay could reward programs that speed graduation rates, he said. A four-year institution, such as UCM, where the focus is on professional and applied technology disciplines, might be incentivized to improve graduation rates in those fields, Russell said. Because different public schools have a different focus, incentives would

TRENDS AT UCM Trends marked by the University of Central Missouri, President Charles Ambrose told the Missouri Joint Committee on Education, include UCM having: • The largest enrollment in school history, 11,878; • The largest incoming freshman class since 1992, 2,793; • A 31 percent increase in military and veteran students over the past three years; • A student acceptance standard of 21 on the ACT and a 2.0 gpa; and • Transfer and reverse-transfer agreements. vary to match school offerings, he said. “There would be a direct line between mission and accomplishment,” he said. From the Council on Public Higher Education, Long said his group likes the idea of extra funds for schools based on outcomes. “We strongly support performance funding,” he said. Missouri House Education Committee Chairman Mike Thompson said, “I think we all agree on the performance issue.” Educators talked about higher education funding increasing by 6 percent, with half being performance based. The increase may be tough to get, Thompson said. UCM President Charles Ambrose said state higher education institutions would need to show how students achieve, with an emphasis on making education accessible, complete, affordable and beneficial when

students enter the job market. “A degree does equal a job,” he said, and touted a 90 percent job placement rate for students. UCM has marked accomplishments at the same time state funding has declined, Ambrose said. He displayed a graphic for committee members that showed state appropriations for UCM education amounted to 65 percent in 2000, fell to 49 percent in 2008 and will be 40 percent in 2013, leaving the burden of higher cost on families. F rom M i ssou r i Western State University, President Robert Vartabedian said his institution is different from others, being an “open enrollment” school with little state help. “Missouri Western State University has the unfortunate distinction of receiving less state appropriations per fulltime-equivalent student than any other public, four-year university in the state,” Vartabedian


DURING THE HEARING at the University of Central Missouri, Higher Education Commissioner David Russell sips coffee after giving testimony while Deputy Commissioner Paul Wagner prepares to talk. said. “I know that there are members of this committee who do not support a per-student funding method, and I’m not asking you to conclude that is the best solution. I don’t necessarily see this as the funding formula. But I think it should at least be a part of it.” Vartabedian asked the committee to consider the different missions of each school when determining how to fund each. “There is something

inherently wrong with the current core funding structure for Missouri higher education,” he said. “Please don’t disregard that. Please don’t use the current core appropriation model as a base for whatever new funding formula you develop.” Pearce said Thursday that each state institution has a different mission, and developing accomplish ment-based funding around each mission is a challenge

for the committee. “That’s the tough part, because we have institutions which have different missions, which have different kinds of (student) selectivity when it comes to what kind of enrollment they have, and then some are research-based, so it’s going to be tough to come up with performance goals,” Pearce said, “because in many cases you can’t compare them against each other.”