The way Missouri taxpayers fund higher education is changing today.
A new law requires state colleges and universities to set standards for student retention, graduation rates, and job placement. Ninety percent of any proposed funding increase for any given school will be based on whether the school has met its own standards.
The schools could set easily-achievable goals but the sponsor of the bill, Senator David Pearce (R-Warrensburg), doesn’t think that’s likely. “I’m very confident universities will come up with rigorous standards…The department of higher education…will have some input to say, ‘…this really probably isn’t strong enough,’” he says.
The legislature, which appropriates money to the institutions, also can evaluate the standards. He says Universities that don’t achieve will get smaller funding increases, or no increases, a situation that will send a message to a university’s governing board members that things need to be improved.
The bill is becoming law today but its impact won’t be felt until the next state budget is written.