News and analysis from The Center for Michigan • http://thecenterformichigan.net
©2015 Bridge Michigan. All Rights Reserved. • Join us online at http://bridgemi.com

Original article URL: http://bridgemi.com/2012/03/will-michigans-universities-look-like-indianas/

Talent & education

Will Michigan’s universities look like Indiana’s?

Doubling the number of college degrees and certifications. Cutting costs. Tracking job placement rates. Those are the latest proposals for Indiana’s public universities.

Why does that matter to Michigan? Because those goals are tied to formula funding – the same type of funding now being proposed in Michigan.

Indiana bases part of its funding for public universities on performance-based goals, a carrot-and-stick approach that rewards universities for improvements in areas such as graduation and retention rates. Last week, after four years of fairly modest steps, the state’s Commission on Higher Education proposed some startlingly ambitious goals.

The state wants to double the number of degrees and certifications granted at public schools by 2025, from 60,000 to 120,000. To reach that goal, an estimated 60 percent of Hoosiers would have some kind of degree or certification. Four-year institutions are expected to double the average on-time graduation rate, and two-year schools are expected to increase grad rates by six-fold.

Setting  goals is a lot easier than achieving them. An Indiana University official expressed concern that by focusing only on improvement in graduation rates, for example, the state could end up penalizing schools that already have good rates and thus have less room to improve.

If that sounds familiar, it’s because U-M President Mary Sue Coleman said the same thing recently about Michigan’s proposed performance-based funding formula. According to the Gongwer News Service in Lansing, Coleman told the House Appropriations Higher Education Subcommittee that the metrics “put an emphasis on improvement to the exclusion of achievement … We feel strongly that the metrics must reward achievement as well as improvement.”

Whether Coleman and other public university presidents have more influence on Michigan’s formula funding remains to be seen, but it seems likely that future funding is going to look a lot more like the Indiana of today than the Michigan of yesterday.

1 comment from a Bridge reader.Add mine!

  1. David Waymire

    And it won’t matter a whit if they don’t invest in their schools. And I see no reason to believe, based on the track record, that Indiana will invest in reaching these goals.

Leave your comment...

Your email address will not be published.

Currently on Bridge

An Earth Day pitch: When you hang up the phone for good, toss it the right way

Michigan’s roads affect everyone, so a 'yes' vote on Proposal 1 makes sense

‘Diplomacy Begins Here’ conference aims to illuminate international relations

What NOT to post on Facebook: Jokes about prison rape, when you’re in charge of preventing prison rape

A program to give young offenders a second chance is sending many to prison

Similar accounts in teen prison rape suit pose challenge to state's defense

‘New fish’ ‒ One teen inmate’s account of sexual assault

Early learning summit in June could impact Michigan’s children

Money Smart Week: Be penny wise, and pound savvier

Plan B or no Plan B, here’s what happens if road proposal fails

The political tale behind the selling of Proposal 1

A Bridge primer: Untangling the pothole promise of Proposal 1

Who supports, and opposes, Proposal 1

Let's rebuild Michigan through its greatest asset: its water

Could a public boarding school model work in Detroit?

Coalition supporting Detroit schools a step in the city’s road back

Chasing fads? Today’s schools are struggling too much for that

For one Michigan legislative staffer, an hour or two in the spotlight

A cull is a kill, and it’s an overreaction to deer ‘problem’

Lack of college guidance keeps poor and rural students from applying

Those who can, do – and get their hands ‘dirty’ in the process

For one Detroit mom, a complicated path to employment

Detroit by the numbers – the truth about poverty

Michigan should require dental screening for all children entering kindergarten

Where in the world is the Center for Michigan?

After two years, hard to call ACA anything but a success

Bridge’s Academic State Champs emphasizes all the wrong measurements

A graying population poses challenges for Up North counties

Up North, isolation impedes health care for seniors

Enbridge oil pipes and the Straits of Mackinac: Too risky to ignore

Not bigger government, but better services when Community Health and Human Services merge

Two Michigans gaze across a widening gap

In northern counties, workers and business find each other lacking

Hidden poverty stalks a Pure Michigan setting

Postcard: How a git-’er-done spirit helps one rural school district

Postcard: When elk is for dinner

Postcard: Luxe life at Bay Harbor reflects changing economy

Postcard: A roof and a bed

Invest in non-partisan journalism.

Donate to The Center for Michigan. Find out why.