Research News

Slides from ASHE forum on performance funding now available

January 23, 2015

A public policy pre-conference forum at the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) conference brought together a group of performance funding scholars and practitioners, including UW-Madison’s Nicholas Hillman, to examine the landscape of performance-based funding policies and to discuss future directions for this increasingly-popular policy instrument.

Hillman is an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, and an affiliate of the Wisconsin Center for the Advancement of Postsecondary Education (WISCAPE).

Performance funding policies, designed to reward colleges for completions, not just enrollments, are among the various policy options adopted (and in many cases, re-adopted) by states in an effort to improve student progression, time-to-degree, and graduation rates. This approach stands in contrast to traditional approaches to allocating state funds to public higher education institutions, which are typically contingent on student enrollment numbers.

Advocates of performance funding argue that “new” performance funding policies are distinct from earlier versions, namely, by embedding funding on performance into a college’s base budget (rather than being a bonus), and by rewarding colleges for achieving intermediate performance goals (e.g. retention, transfer rates).

In this session, the panelists discussed the origin, design, implementation, and effects of performance funding in the United States.

Slides from the forum are available for download.