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November 8, 2010

COMMISSION TO RECOMMEND REFORM OF HIGHER EDUCATION FUNDING

Performance funding, strengthening financial aid among issues finance panel will consider to link state dollars to state goals

SPRINGFIELD – Connecting state funding to performance in producing more college graduates is among several reform measures considered by the Higher Education Finance Study Commission this week as it concludes five months of study of state funding of colleges and universities with recommendations on ways state dollars can promote vital state goals. The Commission also will consider changes to the student financial aid system and the potential to spend limited existing resources more economically and efficiently.

The Commission will meet to finalize its recommendations on November 10 th at Columbia College in Chicago.

The Commission, comprised of state legislators, business leaders, and higher education stakeholders, will be discussing three broad recommendations:

  • Implement a new finance and budgeting design based on institutional performance in achieving the goals of the Illinois Public Agenda for College and Career Success, the state’s blueprint for increasing college attainment for more Illinoisans.
  • Reform the Monetary Award Program (MAP) to promote increased access and success for low-income college students.
  • Identify, in collaboration between the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) and the public colleges and universities, economies and efficiencies that will result in streamlining and cost-saving measures.

"The Commission has responded to the request of the General Assembly to look for fresh ideas and examine new approaches to identify ways that Illinois can better fund higher education,” Carrie J. Hightman, Chairwoman of the Illinois Board of Higher Education said. “The Illinois Public Agenda calls for the state to ensure affordable access for all Illinoisans to high-quality educational opportunities that prepare them for the jobs of today and tomorrow. The Commission’s recommendations offer our state’s policymakers useful tools to do just that.”

The Commission will meet at 10:00 a.m. at Columbia College, Auditorium, Second Floor, 618 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago.

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. Additional information about the Commission can be found at: http://www.ibhe.org/SJR88/default.htm.

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