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Impact - January 2011

State Adopts CUF Recommendation For Improving Community Colleges

At a New York State Assembly hearing in mid-December on strengthening student success in higher education, CUF senior fellow Thomas Hilliard testified that "the state should overhaul the base funding model for community colleges to reflect state policy goals. Roughly one month later, state leaders have already moved in this direction.

Tags: economic opportunity community colleges higher education human capital

At a New York State Assembly hearing in mid-December on strengthening student success in higher education, CUF senior fellow Thomas Hilliard testified that "the state should overhaul the base funding model for community colleges to reflect state policy goals. Those goals include college completion for disadvantaged students, producing graduates for in-demand fields, and adjusting reimbursement to support high-cost majors such as nursing and engineering. Other states have taken important strides in performance financing, notably Tennessee, Pennsylvania and New Jersey."

Roughly one month later, state leaders have already moved in this direction. In a speech in late January, SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher proposed performance-based funding for SUNY institutions. Zimpher said that beginning with the fiscal year 2012, "SUNY will distribute state support among its state-operated campuses based on performance in critical areas. The Chancellor's office will work with campus presidents to determine these areas and define the allocation formula, but they may include research expenditures and awards, student course completion, retention and degree completion, and/or degree programs that address workforce shortages and the needs of emerging industries."