Reform 1.0: Performance Benchmarks for Higher Education

As part of this year’s higher education bill for the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, the Republican-led Legislature and DFL Governor Mark Dayton performance benchmarks for each system to meet before receiving their full allotment of funding.

For the University of Minnesota, the benchmarks are:

  1. Increase the amount of institutional financial aid so that it is greater in fiscal year 2012 than in fiscal year 2010, excluding federal stimulus funding. Institutional financial aid includes funds from the University of Minnesota Foundation and the Minnesota Medical Foundation;
  2. Produce at least 13,500 total degrees on all campuses in fiscal year 2012;
  3. Increase the undergraduate four- and six-year graduation rates on the Twin Cities campus for 2011-2012, as reported in the federal completions survey, over the numbers for 2009-2010, as reported in the federal completion survey;
  4. Produce total research and development expenditures, as reported to the National Science Foundation (NSF) for the University of Minnesota system so that the amount in the 2012 NSF report is not less than the amount in the 2010 NSF report; and
  5. Produce sponsored funding from business and industry so that funding in fiscal year 2012, as reported to the Board of Regents in December of that year, is not less than funding in fiscal year 2010.

The University must meet at least three of these benchmarks to receive its full funding from the state.

For MnSCU, the benchmarks are:

  1. Increase by at least seven percent, compared to fiscal year 2009, graduates or degrees, diplomas and certificates conferred;
  2. Increase by at least ten percent, compared to fiscal year 2010, the number of students of color;
  3. Increase by at least fifteen percent, compared to fiscal year 2010, the full year equivalent enrollment of students taking online or blended courses or the number of online and blended sections;
  4. Increase by at least one percent the fall 2011 persistence and completion rate for fall 2010 entering students compared to the fall 2010 rate for fall 2009 entering students; and
  5. Decrease by at least two percent, compared to calendar year 2009, total energy consumption per square foot.

Like the U of M, MnSCU must meet three of these five benchmarks.