Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom

The Seven New Benchmarks For Funding Indiana Colleges

    Kyle Stokes / StateImpact Indiana

    Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education Teresa Lubbers prepares for the December 9 meeting.

    While a portion of Indiana’s state funding for public colleges and universities is already tied to the schools’ performance, a state panel unanimously recommended Friday that portion of funding get bigger in the next budget cycle.

    As expected, the Commission for Higher Education also tweaked the metrics the state will use to measure performance. (Read all seven of them below the jump.)

    Among the changes: universities themselves will select one benchmark for the state to use in determining their share of the pot of performance funding.

    Currently, 5 percent of the state’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 Friday, in 2013-14, that figure will increase to 6 percent (an estimated $73 million based on current funding levels), and 7 percent by 2014-15.

    Seven Metrics

    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)

    What changed?

    Among the metrics that didn’t make it into the new model — including one for an institution’s successful dual credit completion — a portion of the formula tied to an institution’s research was moved out of the formula and will make up a separate portion of the commission’s budget recommendation.

    That’s no small thing: This metric garnered roughly one-third of IU’s overall allocation under the old formula, and nearly half of Purdue’s funding amount.


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