A report commissioned by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce and the state’s Commission for Higher Education shows Indiana and Purdue University are using their resources efficiently, but asks them to do even more.
The report uses data from 2008 to attempt to show how efficiently a number of Indiana colleges use their allotted dollars. IU and Purdue both are classified as getting slightly less funding than a group of peer institutions each school was asked to self-identify, but with the caveat that both schools are also slightly underfunded using the same comparisons. Efficiency has been a topic of pointed discussion between State Budget Committee members and university leaders in the past year, but Chamber of Commerce spokesman Derek Redelman says he doesn’t think the report will cause the Indiana General Assembly to crack down on higher education spending. In fact, Redelman says even the conservative-leaning Chamber will push for as much education funding as is feasible.
“We will be strongly discouraging the Legislature to be looking at this issue as saying ‘We can improve productivity by cutting costs’,” Redelman said.
IU spokesman Larry MacIntyre says the Bloomington campus has become noticeably more efficient in the two years since the numbers were compiled and will soon begin a project to compare itself to peer institutions on a number of levels.
“This will show us, in every major administrative area: Are we spending too much?, Do we have too many people doing something? Do we not have enough people? Are we doing it as well as other institutions?,” he said. “We will have answers for all of those questions when this benchmarking process is completed next spring.”
In addition to other Big Ten schools, IU faculty chose to compare the Bloomington campus to The University of California at Berkeley and Texas A&M, among others.