IHL Eyes Changes to Funding Formula

Thursday, April 18, 2013

A potential new funding formula for Mississippi’s eight public universities will be reviewed by the College Board’s finance committee today.

Higher Education Commissioner Hank Bounds discussed details of the plan Tuesday with members of the media.

Bounds said no school would see cuts in funding in Fiscal Year 2014 — the first year of a three-year phase-in — if the plan is approved. He said all schools would receive more state allocation than this fiscal year.

Although University of Southern Mississippi President Rodney Bennett was unavailable for comment Tuesday, he expressed pleasure that no funding would be cut in emails to faculty and staff released by University Communications.

“While this is good news, we must remain vigilant in our commitment to ensuring student success,” Bennett wrote. “Student retention, progression and graduation demand our continued attention, now and in the future.”

The proposed performance-based plan would fund public universities on a series of dynamic metrics that monitor university performance. It would replace a static funding formula, giving each school a fixed share of overall state appropriation, regardless of fluctuations in enrollment.

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