Faculty Senate addresses performance- based funding


SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

University of Iowa faculty members on Tuesday expressed their concerns to a top state official about their work being devalued, a loss of funds, and competition among Iowa’s public universities.

Bruce Rastetter, the president of the state Board of Regents, was present at Tuesday’s Faculty Senate meeting to address those concerns.   

Performance-based funding is a method in which the state allocates money to the regent universities based on the performance of its students. Course completion, graduation rates, the number of degrees awarded, and the number of low-income and minority graduates are among the factors taken into consideration.

Rastetter, a UI alumnus, said he hopes this funding proposal will help the UI become a top-10 public university.

“The University of Iowa deserves the best and shouldn’t settle for less,” he said.

Kate Mulholland, the regents’ president pro tem, echoed Rastetter’s beliefs about the UI but said it has to come from efforts made on campus.

“You’re the ones that are going to define what puts you in the top 10,” she said. “You have the programs, you have the research, you have the faculty, and you have the students.”

Many worries about performance-based funding were shared with Rastetter at the meeting.

“So much of what we hear about the funding model from faculty members is the worry that it will devalue their work,” Faculty Senate President Alexandra Thomas said. “It’s great to see the president of the Board of Regents supporting us and our work.”

Faculty members also discussed concerns with a perceived sense of competition among Iowa’s public universities in this funding model, although Rastetter said this should not become an issue.

“We have a responsibility as the Board of Regents to be fair to all the public universities in Iowa,” he said. “I don’t think it’s a competition among the three but rather the three universities becoming better.”

He said in order to make the performance-based funding work, the UI needs to work on recruiting not only in-state students but all potential students.

“As a public university, it is necessary that [the UI] is accessible to all Iowans,” he said. “One of the things that is also clear to the board is that we want to encourage the university to recruit out-of-state students and students from around the world.”

Rastetter noted that other states that use a performance-based funding in their public universities, citing them as potential examples for creating a successful funding model for Iowa.

The regents used Tennessee and its formula of calculating where money is allocated as the main example of the funding model because 100 percent of state funding is given based on institutional performances.

This is something Mulholland would like to see in the state.

“We mostly looked at all the different formulas and had speakers who conducted their own research about them,” she said. “Because this was just a portion of the money the universities have for their operating budget, we wanted to reflect how the money from the Legislature will affect the universities.”

Rastetter said discussions similar to the one held Tuesday reflect the relationship between the regents and the UI.

“The University of Iowa has a long and strong tradition of shared governance,” he said. “And part of that shared governance is with the board.”

In today's issue:

Privacy Policy (8/15/07) | Terms of Use (4/28/08) | Content Submission Agreement (8/23/07) | Copyright Compliance Policy (8/25/07) | RSS Terms of Use

Copyright © The Daily Iowan, All Rights Reserved.