Gov. Jay Nixon's proposal for greater efficiency in higher education in Missouri through performance funding took another important step forward this week. At its meeting in Jefferson City on Thursday, the Coordinating Board for Higher Education voted unanimously to accept the report submitted by the Performance Funding Task Force, formed to develop a model accountability plan that would allocate state resources to institutions of higher learning based on performance measures and academic goals.
The Governor had called on higher education leaders from across Missouri to collaborate on a Performance Funding Model for higher education at the second Governor's Summit on Higher Education in August.
"This vote by the Coordinating Board is another step toward providing greater efficiency and accountability in higher education, with measurable goals and a focus on results that will benefit students, our state, and its economy," Gov. Nixon said. "I appreciate that the board has taken this step, and I thank the members of the task force for their work on this report.
"The leaders of our public colleges and universities have already taken tremendous steps in the last few years to focus their academic programs on priorities that are growing or are poised for growth," the Governor said. "That has helped spur a surge in enrollment, including record highs at many schools. It's clear that we must now improve the funding model for higher education to make it less crisis-driven and more predictable from year-to-year, to continue the progress we've already made toward greater accountability."
There were several core principles outlined by Gov. Nixon to drive performance funding:
- Performance funding should be the basis for allocating future funding increments to the institutions;
- The model should be straightforward and easy to understand; and it should include a small number of clear, statewide goals for which all institutions should be held accountable, and one performance goal specific to each institution;
- The goals must be quantifiable, and measured by annual performance indicators;
- The performance metrics should reflect the best practices for accountability set forth in national publications, such as the National Governors Association's "Complete to Compete" initiative;
- The model should take into account the differences between two- and four-year institutions; and
- Fiscal Year 2013 would serve as the baseline year for establishing the goals and metrics of the performance funding model.
Now that it has accepted the report of the task force, the Coordinating Board for Higher Education will act on those recommendations when it submits a budget request for fiscal year 2014 next September.