Governor accepts proposal to base state funding off graduation rates

Ohio University President Roderick McDavis could have a hand in determining the way public universities receive funding in the future.

Early Friday morning in Columbus, a commission created by Ohio Gov. John Kasich presented a report after more than two months of work, detailing proposed changes to the formula that provides State Share of Instruction (SSI) funding to public universities.

The report, which Kasich accepted in the press conference, recommended changing the formula to one based on graduation rates, rather than enrollment.

Funding based on graduation rates instead of enrollment is a new idea, McDavis said, one that Ohio could be the first state to implement. If passed by the Ohio General Assembly, 50 percent of SSI funding will be determined by graduation rates; currently, graduation rates only drive 20 percent of funding.

“Honestly, I could be emotional about this, because when I see great things and selfless things that are happening, it’s just such a big deal to me,” Kasich said about the commission’s work. “Because that’s what justice is — that’s what my mother and father taught me when I was a kid.”

Previously, McDavis said he hoped economic incentives would play a part in the plan, but they were not included in the final report.

Ohio State University President Gordon Gee led the commission, which also included McDavis and other Ohio public university presidents. The group met weekly to hammer out the proposal.

“The proposed formula still needs to be included in the state operating bill and passed by the legislature … but we believe that Ohio University students will benefit on a funding formula based on degree completion,” McDavis said Friday.

McDavis added that the formula should allow OU to increase its share of funding over time.

“I think that what we’ll find is … as our graduation rate increases, so too should the funding for Ohio University increase,” he said.


Will this loosen graduation

Will this loosen graduation requirements? Will universities turn a blind eye to laziness and do what public K-12 schools do thanks to the No Child Left Behind Act? Will they become diploma mills? The smell of money is a powerful thing. 

Since the University can decide how to structure graduation requirements, it seems obvious to ask these questions.

It wouldn't go against journalistic ethics to ask a few hard questions to go along with the emotional impact that funding has on those who receive it.

I'm not trying to be harsh, but this seems like a major policy turn around and should be extended in its insight.

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