Friday, February 25, 2011

Performance measures restrict funding to IU graduate programs

By Katie Dawson | IDS Reports | Feb. 24, 2011

Indiana’s Commission for Higher Education has called for 5 percent of all current university funding to be redistributed using a new formula based on performance measures.

The new formula was created to provide an incentive for universities to meet specific performance requirements, such as an increase in on-time graduation rates, successfully completed credit hours and other standards, said Karen Hanson, IU executive vice president and provost.

If schools don’t meet the requirements, they lose funding.

“If we do well on those measures, then we’ll get more than our money back. If we do less well on those measures, we get less of our money back,” said Neil Theobald, vice president for financial affairs.

Theobald said IU might have a hard time meeting some of the requirements.

“At the current time, we lose fairly substantially,” Theobald said.
Theobald said the reason IU is having trouble is because the state’s performance-based measures were developed for undergraduate education only.

IU’s medical school and graduate schools lose money because they can’t compete for their funding against undergraduate education, Theobald said.

Hanson said IU is doing great as a college but can’t possibly live up to the measures set by the state.

“We’re not opposed to performance-based measures, but we think they need to make sense given the mission and character of the campus,” Hanson said during a meeting with the Bloomington Faculty Council on Feb. 15.

Theobald said the University has already talked to the commission about its concerns on the measures.

“Right now, you’ve got Ivy Tech and the IU medical school as the same,” Theobald said. “Your performance is based on what your mission is. The mission of a community college and the mission of a medical school are wildly different.”

Changing the standards and adding more performance measures for graduate schools would make it easier for IU’s graduate schools to receive more money.

“We’re in favor of it. I think it’s a good idea,” Theobald said. “It’s just a work in progress, and the commission knows that.”