MU faculty members clarify performance funding model

Wednesday, November 16, 2011 | 8:11 p.m. CST; updated 8:52 p.m. CST, Wednesday, November 16, 2011

COLUMBIA — At the fall general faculty meeting Wednesday, MU faculty members had their last opportunity to speak up about a proposed performance funding model for public colleges and universities in the state of Missouri.

Laughter rattled through Chamber Auditorium in the MU Student Center as Nikki Krawitz, University of Missouri System vice president for finance and administration, answered one short but important question about the funding model.

The question: Does this make any difference whatsoever?

"The short answer?" Krawitz said as laughter subsided. "No."

Because performance measures would only apply to additional funding awarded to higher education institutions each year, Krawitz said she doesn't expect there will be much — if any — new funding to allocate under the performance model.

Much of the focus of Wednesday's discussion was on the state's financial outlook moving forward. Krawitz emphasized to faculty members that state funding has continued to fall and may again in the next fiscal year.

When asked if performance funding as proposed is the final draft, Krawitz hesitated but said she felt confident the measures she presented would be the final measures.

"As a process, I would tell you that I think it's a done deal," Krawitz said. "Whether it actually gets funding approved for it at some point in the future? There's quite a bit that has to happen for that."

At a Nov. 3 Faculty Council meeting, Krawitz presented the model to council members and heard numerous concerns about the model's focus on undergraduate education overlooking MU's graduate and research programs.

At Wednesday's forum, members echoed the same concerns — that the proposed model does not completely reward MU's graduate and research programs.

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

If approved, performance funding measures would likely be implemented on fiscal year 2014 appropriations requests submitted next fall.

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