Commission on Equitable Public University Funding December 2022 Meeting Recap

Adequacy Workgroup Report

Commissioners shared a potential model for creating an adequacy definition. They started by framing questions for adequacy including how much it would cost to produce desired outcomes (enrollment, persistence, completion) and whether different types of institutions and degree levels/program areas require more funding. Through the presentation and discussion, the following considerations were given to the Technical Workgroup:

  • When creating benchmarks for key student ratios, what factors are most important? How and where should they be applied?
  • How should faculty and non-faculty compensation be benchmarked?
  • How do we establish appropriate weights without a research base?
  • How do we allow for equity within advanced degrees?
  • How can equity exist while reinforcing institutions’ existing missions?

Potential data sources for adequacy were discussed. Deferred maintenance remains unresolved. Commissioners talked about the importance of accountability within the formula. The modeling group should consider other factors that were left out.

Resource Workgroup Report

The top three factors that impact student persistence are all financial. Currently, universities receive state appropriations and then fill in any gaps in funding with tuition and fees, which is often unaffordable for students. Recommendations for further work include quantifying how much is equitable for students to pay, the consideration of access to non-appropriated resources (grants, contracts, endowments), and including institutional resource profiles. The following discussion focused on the importance of equity and that even though it’s difficult to include, it’s the most important part.

President Panel: Richard J. Gallot, President, Grambling State University; Dr. E. Joseph Savoie, President, University of Louisiana Lafayette

President Gallot and Savoie gave descriptions of their institutions and answered questions about their funding formula. Key takeaways from their discussion include:

  • More degrees have been awarded with higher success rates for first-generation Pell students
  • Their formula only funds 25% of the budget—recommendation to craft the formula so institutions are not penalized
  • Keep the formula as simple as possible while producing the desired result
  • There are no recommendations to remove elements of the formula, just build on what exists through higher base funding and incentives to encourage creativity
  • Help the public understand the formula through seminars, as well as encourage accountability through public reports

Next Steps

The Technical Modeling workgroup will start meeting bi-weekly. They will use the conceptual framework created by the Commission to model distribution mechanisms and funding scenarios.