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Dietz Touts Performance-based Higher Ed Funding Formula

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Illinois State University

The president of Illinois State University sees the future of higher education funding in Illinois based on performance rather than need. During Sound Ideas, Larry Dietz said most of the discussions on potential funding scenarios in a "post-stopgap world" involve rewarding schools that perform well.

"From a long-term planning perspective, there hasn't been much of a discussion based on a needs-based criteria. That's been more of political reaction to fiscal realities at some of the other institutions," Dietz said.

There was considerable talk earlier this year in Springfield of funding public colleges and universities that were in "crisis" mode at levels higher than most institutions. In fact, Chicago State University received 60-percent of the previous year's funding level when lawmakers approved a stopgap measure in April, while most other institutions got about 30-percent.

Dietz said there is money available for performance funding. It's based on number of Illinoisans served, retention and graduation rates. Dietz said Illinois State comes out very well in those areas, but the reward is tiny.

"Right now, only one half of one-percent is allocated to performance funding. So really to make a difference, that number would have to go up considerably," Dietz said. He added that he hopes any performance allocation would be on top of the standard allocation in order for there to truly be an incentive.

In the Sound Ideas interview, Dietz also discussed his willingness to conduct a national search for a new provost. This would be conducted while an interim leader is in place. He also talked about student-parent feedback received at ISU Preview sessions this summer.

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