Possible MU performance funding model still up for discussion

Tuesday, November 15, 2011 | 4:41 p.m. CST; updated 5:41 p.m. CST, Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Performance funding is the allocation of state money to schools based on their performance in certain academic areas from one year to the next. A performance-based model is being considered for Missouri’s public colleges and universities. This flow chart illustrates how the decision-making process for how performance-based funding would work.

COLUMBIA — MU faculty will have another opportunity to discuss the consequences of a proposed performance-based funding model at Wednesday's fall general faculty meeting.

At a Nov. 3 meeting, the Faculty Council expressed its distaste for the model after a presentation and explanation from Nikki Krawitz, University of Missouri System vice president for finance and administration. She serves on a task force made up of higher education administrators convened to build a performance funding model.

Council members maintained that the current proposal shorts MU's full academic mission.

A performance funding model would allocate state money to public colleges and universities based on their performance in certain academic areas from one year to the next. But council members think the proposed academic areas don't account for MU's focus beyond undergraduate education.

Several council members maintained that the university's focus on graduate education and academic research is too important to be overlooked by a performance-based funding model.

"Just because we don’t have a measure for these certain qualities doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be considered," André Ariew, associate professor of philosophy, said at last week's meeting. "We can’t put a quantity on this quality measure, but it’s still a really important part of our mission."

Krawitz acknowledged the issue is complex and said many details still need to be worked out before any model could actually be implemented.

“I appreciate the input, but I think as you discuss it, you discover how difficult it is," Krawitz said last week. "Keep the ideas coming because the book’s not closed yet.”

Krawitz will present the measures again at the general faculty meeting, which starts at 3:30 p.m. in Chamber Auditorium in the MU Student Center, and will take questions and comments from faculty members. The meeting was rescheduled from last month.

The task force will take performance funding measures to the Coordinating Board for Higher Education for approval at the board's December meeting.

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