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August 27, 2010

Higher Ed Official to Outline Funding Scheme Linking Dollars to Degrees

Ohio Chancellor will discuss performance funding with Higher Education Finance Study Commission

SPRINGFIELD –   Eric Fingerhut, chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents, will explain the Buckeye State’s experience with connecting public funding for higher education to specific state goals and benchmarks for student success at a meeting of the Higher Education Finance Study Commission August 30th at Harper College in Palatine.

Ohio is regarded as among the national leaders in a movement to promote student success through targeting state dollars to completion of college courses and degrees.

The finance study commission, comprised of state legislators, academic finance experts, and a broad cross-section of education, business, labor, and nonprofit leaders, will meet at 10 a.m.  at Harper College’s Wojcik Conference Center.

“I commend the Commission for examining performance funding in a serious and thoughtful way,” Carrie J. Hightman, Chairwoman of the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE), said. “And we are fortunate to have an expert speaker of Chancellor Fingerhut’s stature and experience to help the Commission navigate through these waters. As we continue here in Illinois to implement the Illinois Public Agenda for College and Career Success, we know that Ohio’s approach to funding merits further study.”

Ohio’s finance policy changes were initiated in fiscal year 2010, replacing an enrollment-driven formula with an approach that emphasizes course and degree completions.

  • The core state subsidy for universities – different for an institution’s main or branch campuses – is based on course and program completions, taking into account factors such as historical cost patterns, additional funds for completion of at-risk students, and necessary elements for doctoral and medical education.
  • For community colleges, the state subsidy continues to be based on enrollments, recognizing the dramatic swings in enrollments with economic cycles, with a plan to phase in a component that rewards student success.

The Commission was created by Senate Joint Resolution 88, sponsored by Senator Ed Maloney and Representative Fred Crespo, both of whom serve on the panel. Other legislative members are Senator Pam Althoff and Representative Bob Pritchard. SJR 88 was passed unanimously by both the Senate and House.

The Commission’s purpose is to examine higher education funding and develop recommendations to the Board of Higher Education, the Governor, and the General Assembly that will explicitly link the goals of the Illinois Public Agenda for College and Career Success to the state’s higher education budgeting process.

The Commission’s charge is to:

  • Evaluate current funding for Illinois higher education and compare it to peer states and institutions around the nation.
  • Develop a comprehensive funding strategy that connects state appropriations, tuition policies, and need-based student aid.
  • Consider alternative funding mechanisms to advance the goals of the Illinois Public Agenda, including improved student retention, program completion, and graduation.

The finance study is being conducted over the course of five meetings during the summer and fall, the first of which was held July 27 at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dennis Jones, president of the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS) and a consultant in the development of the Illinois Public Agenda, will guide the process as facilitator for the Commission’s proceedings.

Additional information about the Commission can be found at:


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