Governor offers $10 million boost for colleges in return for 'reform' | Arkansas Blog

Monday, October 31, 2016

Governor offers $10 million boost for colleges in return for 'reform'

Posted By on Mon, Oct 31, 2016 at 2:55 PM

click to enlarge A NEW FORMULA: Gov. Hutchinson with UA's Donald Bobbitt (right), ASU's Charles Welch and HIgher Ed Director Maria Markham.
  • A NEW FORMULA: Gov. Hutchinson with UA's Donald Bobbitt (right), ASU's Charles Welch and HIgher Ed Director Maria Markham.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson
dangled a $10 million carrot in front of colleges and universities today in return for linking their funding to "productivity."

If the legislature approves, he said Arkansas would become the fifth state — after Tennessee, Indiana, Ohio and Oregon — to move from funding based on strictly enrollment to a formula that takes into account "accountability, student success and program completion."

Hutchinson didn't run the arithmetic, but the additional $10 million would be on top of $826 million budgeted in general revenue support for colleges and universities this year, or an increase of about 1.2 percent.

This further explanation was offered in a prepared statement:

Productivity-based funding can be used to align institutional funding with statewide priorities for higher education by encouraging programs and services focused on student success and incentivizing progress toward statewide goals. At the same time, such models encourage accountability to students and policymakers by focusing on the success of students through the achievement of their educational goals. Any new funding model must be built around a set of shared principles embraced by institutions, employing appropriate outcomes metrics, and aligned with goals and objectives for post-secondary attainment in our state and encouraging accountability to stakeholders

Where success equals graduation rates, it should be noted that schools vary widely, led by those with the highest quality student bodies as measured by test scores. The Higher Educating Coordinating Commission approved the governor's proposal and Benji Hardy noted some potential problems then, including a temptation to inflate results to meet funding goals.

You can watch his news conference here.

The governor's statement:

“I am pleased to demonstrate my support for the Higher Education Productivity Funding Model by announcing a $10 million increase to higher education funding conditioned on passage of this reform. I have no higher priority for the upcoming session than to see funding for our universities geared more towards the success of our students. The purpose of this additional funding is to incentivize efficiency and outcomes for our institutions of higher learning, and I appreciate the support this proposal has received from college and university presidents across the state.

“My goal continues to be increasing the percentage of Arkansans that are career-ready and equipped with degrees and industry-recognized certificates. This new revolutionary funding model will help us achieve those goals, and I look forward to working with the legislature to make it a reality.”

Dr. Maria Markham, Director of the Arkansas Department of Higher Education, said:

“Productivity funding will play a central role in achieving the strategic goals set forth in the Higher Ed Master Plan. Aligning funding with the priorities of our state will motivate institutions to focus efforts on initiatives that will improve outcomes for students and elevate the available workforce in Arkansas.

“Moving away from an enrollment-based method of funding and holding ourselves accountable for student success sends a strong message that Arkansas colleges and universities are committed to making positive change. Your Arkansas institutions of higher learning will rise to the challenges before them and demonstrate their value to the residents of our state. I commend and thank Governor Hutchinson for his support of the productivity funding model and making furthering higher education a priority.”
College leaders are on board. Statements of support came from Dr. Donald Bobbitt, president of the University of Arkansas System; Dr. Charles Welch, president of the Arkansas State University System; Dr. Laurence Alexander, chancellor of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff; and Bill Stovall, executive director of the Arkansas Community Colleges. Also said to be supporting are Southern Arkansas University, Henderson State University, University of Central Arkansas, and Arkansas Tech University.

Tags: , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store


Comments (8)

Showing 1-8 of 8

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-8 of 8

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • City plans more spending on 30 Crossing

    The Little Rock City Board meets Tuesday to set an agenda for the following week and among the "consent" items is a new $175,000 with Nelson/Nygaard consultants to "assist with a comprehensive review" of the 30 Crossing project, otherwise known as the bigger concrete ditch the Department of Transportation wants to tear through the heart of Little Rock.
    • Sep 24, 2017
  • NFL owners rise to defense of players against Trump and false patriots

    Many football team owners have risen to the defense of players against Donald Trump criticism as yet another racially fraught issue seems likely to gain increasing heat thanks to Trump's rhetoric.
    • Sep 24, 2017
  • The school crisis at 60: A light show and light cast on the lack of progress

    The 60th school crisis anniversary observance continues with a spectacular light show and some sobering thoughts on just what was accomplished and how much progress has been made in theintervening six decades.
    • Sep 24, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

  • ASU to reap $3.69 million from estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn

    Arkansas State University announced today plans for spending an expected $3.69 million gift in the final distribution of the estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn, who died in 2013 and 2015 respectively.
  • Bad health care bill, again

    Wait! Postpone tax reform and everything else for a while longer because the Senate is going to try to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act one more time before September ends and while it can do it with the votes of only 50 senators.
  • Sex on campus

    Look, the Great Campus Rape Crisis was mainly hype all along. What Vice President Joe Biden described as an epidemic of sexual violence sweeping American college campuses in 2011 was vastly overstated.
  • The inadequate legacy of Brown

    LRSD continues to abdicate its responsibility to educate poor black students.

Most Recent Comments



© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation