Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom


Purdue University, where an average of 40 percent of all grades given out are A's.

How Performance Funding Works In Indiana


Courtesy Indiana University

IU president Michael McRobbie looks on as Higher Education Commissioner Teresa Lubbers speaks during a press conference on Monday, October 24 in Indianapolis.

The influential Indiana Commission for Higher Education, an executive agency that oversees the Indiana’s public universities, came out with a plan to tie a greater portion of state funding to a college’s academic performance. Indiana’s revised performance funding formula is designed to give schools specific targets that fit the state’s policy goals.

“We’re really trying to increase the number of people who complete [degrees], who complete on time, and we want to make sure we are incenting the right kinds of degrees,” says Teresa Lubbers, the state’s Commissioner for Higher Education.

Currently, 5 percent of the Indiana’s $1.2 billion higher education budget — roughly $61 million — is distributed based on performance metrics. After the Commission’s approval of the new funding formula on December 9, that figure will increase to 6 percent in 2014 (an estimated $73 million based on current funding levels), and 7 percent by 2015.

Compared with previous years, where the state based 1 or 2 percent of its funding formula on performance measures, “we’re starting to talk about real money now,” Lubbers says.

The state will rate schools and determine their funding levels based on these criteria:

  • Overall Degree Completion: What’s the change in total certificates and degrees a school gave out?  (All campuses)
  • At Risk Student Degree Completion: What’s the change in the number of degrees and certificates a school gave to students who were eligible for Pell Grants? (All campuses)
  • High Impact Degree Completion (New): How many bachelors, masters, or doctoral degrees did universities give out in science, technology, engineering, and math — or “STEM” — fields? (Only IU Bloomington, Purdue-West Lafayette, Ball State, IUPUI)
  • Student Persistence Incentive: At two-year campuses, what’s the change in the number of students who successfully completed 15, 30, and 45 hours? At four-year non-research campuses, how many students successfully completed 30 and 60 credit hours? (Non-research campuses)
  • Remediation Success Incentive: What’s the change in the number of students completing remedial courses in Math and English at two-year institutions? (Two-year institutions)
  • On-Time Graduation Rates: What is the change in a school’s the two-year and four-year graduation rates for first-time, full-time students? (All campuses)
  • Wild Card (New): Each college selects “one productivity metric linked to their strategic plan,” and will submit it for approval by January 2012. The metric should “focus on reducing cost of attendance for students.” (All campuses)

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