Governor wants performance funding for universities

Gov. Snyder is warning that some of the state aid for Michigan’s 15 public universities could be based on graduation rates or the number of specialized degrees the university awards.

The Governor’s goal for implementing performance-based standards for funding is greater accountability. The universities are calling it a continued power-grab, especially after the Legislature’s imposed 15 percent budget cut. Now, the state is trying to tell university presidents and boards how to spend the limited resources. The state is already using a version of performance funding when it agreed to soften the cuts if universities kept tuition hikes under 7.1 percent.

Michigan is only one of 17 states looking at performance funding. Snyder wants to tie the $1.2 billion in university funding to yearly measurable goals—much like the “dashboard” concept he’s applied to K-12 funding. Again, the “devil will be in the details.”