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IU Officials Criticize New Performance Funding Leglislation

Not all public universities are pleased with the Indiana General Assembly’s recent 28 billion dollar budget.

The operation budgets for all publicly-funded higher education institutions in Indiana will be cut next year. The money collected will act as an incentive for institutions to raise performance levels. While the move has the potential to help struggling schools, it could also hinder already high-performing institutions.

About 5% of the operations budgets for all publicly-funded higher education institutions will be cut next year. Indiana University spokesman Larry MacIntyre said the money will go into a pool and then be distributed back to schools which show undergraduate performance increases.

“What will happen is other campuses and institutions with dramatically lower graduation rates, with lower undergraduate performance measures, they have a lot of room to improve,” MacIntyre said.

MacIntyre contends IU-Bloomington is already the highest performing public institution in the state.  What’s more, the IU School of Medicine has few undergraduate students, so it’ll give money to the state, but has little potential to recoup it. MacIntyre said that leaves IU with less room to compete for its piece of the $61 million pie.

“The effect is that basically in Bloomington it takes 10 million dollars out of the budget which we use mainly for salaries for faculty and staff, likewise at the school of medicine it will take almost 4 million dollars,” MacIntyre said.

But will the cuts translate into layoffs or program eliminations? MacIntyre said the University is still unsure…

“I don’t know if we can answer that question today but it is going to be a very painful cut.”

MacIntyre said the University will work closely with the state legislature in the coming year to improve it’s performance based funding laws.

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