Gov. Jay Nixon today visited Northwest Missouri State University to discuss how his plans to provide Missouri's colleges and universities with additional performance-based funding will expand opportunities for students and ensure taxpayer investments yield the best possible returns.
"As a result of our relentless focus on fiscal discipline and job creation, businesses are hiring, our economy is growing and we now have an opportunity to make smart, strategic investments in higher education that will expand opportunities for students and strengthen our economy for years to come," Gov. Nixon said. "But instead of funding colleges and universities based merely on what they have received in the past, we will tie new funding to specific performance goals. Making sure taxpayer dollars are used efficiently and effectively is the right thing to do - and how we invest in higher education should be no exception."
Two years ago, Gov. Nixon convened a Higher Education Summit and challenged the leaders of Missouri's public two- and four-year institutions to develop a new funding model based on specific performance goals.
As a result, Missouri's academic leaders and Gov. Nixon's administration worked together to develop the Performance Based Funding Model for Higher Education. This model provides for funding increases to Missouri's colleges and universities based on specific performance measures including student retention, graduation rates, student achievement and efficiency.
For Fiscal Year 2014, the Governor's budget includes an increase of $34 million for higher education through the performance-based funding model, in addition to the $849.9 million in core funding also included for Missouri's colleges and universities.
The performance benchmarks under the Performance Based Funding Model for Higher Education include:
Student Retention and Progress: This benchmark can be met by achieving a strong freshman to sophomore retention rate or by improving the number of full-time students completing 24 credit hours within their first academic year.
Graduation Rate and Degree Completion: This benchmark can be met by increasing the total degrees awarded or by improving the six-year graduation rate.
Quality of Student Learning: This benchmark can be met by students achieving better test scores in their fields of study or by students earning more professional licenses in their trade.
Financial Responsibility and Efficiency: This benchmark can be met by colleges and universities making sure a higher percentage of their dollars make it into the classroom or by institutions contributing more to the total revenue make-up of their budget.
Institution-specific goal: This benchmark can be met by achieving a goal specific to the institution's mission.
Under this model, Northwest Missouri State has achieved all five performance benchmarks. As a result, Gov. Nixon's budget proposes more than $1.2 million in additional funding for Northwest Missouri State University.
These funding increases were included in the Governor's recommended balanced budget for Fiscal Year 2014, which has been presented to the General Assembly.