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University Official Concerned Over Performance Based Funding


Kentucky lawmakers are expected to consider legislation to formalize a performance-based funding structure for the state university system.  But, there remains some “angst”, as one school president said, about future funding consequences. 

Eastern Kentucky University President Michael Benson expects legislation filed this session to mirror an agreement ironed out among university presidents.  That agreement calls for 100 percent performance-based funding for the state budget to be enacted in 2020.  And Benson said it remains unchartered territory in this state.


“I don’t think there’s enough longitudinal data out there to really give a fair and objective view of performance based funding, nationwide,” he said.


Benson said the agreement sets out metrics for student retention and graduation rates.  He said it also offers weights for various degrees among first generation students or under-represented minorities. Those efforts are supposed to help students but Benson said he is not convinced.


 “They say that it will drive institutions to churn out more students that are better prepared and do it more quickly and do it more effectively.  Again, I don’t think the research is out there to prove that.  On the contrary, there is more data that it forces institutions into being something they aren’t.”

Stu has been reporting for WEKU for more than 35 years. His primary beat is Lexington/Fayette government.
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