Miller Wants Performance Based Funding To be Fair

Sep 26, 2013

Kentucky Council on Post Secondary Education President Bob King has been pushing to change the state funding model for universities since 2011. King wants to add funding, in addition to the base, on performance on certain metrics.

The change would allow universities to meet a performance standard in certain criteria to receive funding above their state base. Murray State Interim President Tim Miller says the University has always supported the idea of performance funding. He says Murray State’s success has always allowed for that.

“We do want to have student success and to have good graduation rates,” he said. “And not incur a lot of debts. We also want to have good retention rates, which we do. And then some other metrics that might be used, we want to provide good jobs for students once they get out. So we’re certainly for performance funding so long as it’s fair for Murray State.”

He says the population in this part of Kentucky is decreasing, which has led to more regional recruitment. But, Miller said  state university officials had discussed an idea that would determine funding on the amount of Kentucky residents who graduate.

“That would be unfair to us and unfair to other Universities that have to recruit outside of Kentucky,” Miller said.

CPE Spokesperson Sue Patrick said her organization is no longer considering the in-state student metric.

Miller said there was one  other metric proposed among university leaders in Frankfort that concern him.

“One thing that they’re talking measuring is amount of pay, when a graduate graduates what their rate of pay is,” he said. “We turn out a lot of teachers. Well teachers are so important to our economy, but they’re not high payed. So if you’re just going to base it on the pay, I don’t think that’s fair. We just want to make sure whatever metrics they use that it’s fair to all the institutions.”

Patrick said there is no consideration for funding based on a post-graduate pay scale, rather a metric based on number and type of degrees issued.

Miller said he wasn’t sure if the new funding proposals would pass the legislature this year or not. And many schools have different ideas as to what they would like to see in funding changes. According to him one school wants to reset the clock and start money allocation all over again, without the base funding Universities are guaranteed. Under that model all funding would be performance based.

“I think that would be hard to do,” Miller said. “Some institutions have been here longer than the others and have more buildings and deferred maintenance needs. You know it’s going to be awhile before we ever get to full performance funding. But we may start. It may happen this year.”