Coordinating Board for Higher Ed. Hosts Governing Board Forum
Members of the Coordinating Board for Higher Education facilitated discussion at the Governing Board Forum in Jefferson City on June 11. Board members are (from left) Dalton Wright, Lebanon; Betty Sims, Ladue; Carolyn Mahoney, Jefferson City; Brian Fogle, Springfield; and Lowell Kruse, St. Joseph. More photos
2013 Governing Board Forum Summary
The Coordinating Board for Higher Education hosted a forum June 11, 2013 for representatives from local governing boards of higher education institutions, institution presidents and chancellors. About 90 participants gathered at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Jefferson City for the forum.
The CBHE brought participants together to discuss issues of mutual importance, learn from state and national leaders, and network among themselves and with other governing board members. A brief summary of the agenda follows. Transcripts and additional details can be found by clicking the linked topics.
Reception and Welcome by Governor Jeremiah “Jay” Nixon
Governor Nixon and First Lady Georganne Nixon welcomed guests to the Governor’s Mansion for a reception on June 10. The governor and first lady warmly greeted guests and spoke about their enduring support for education. The reception was sponsored by the Missouri Community College Association and the Council on Public Higher Education.
Governor Nixon opened proceedings the morning of June 11. He said the state has made significant progress accomplishing the public agenda for higher education he introduced at the first Governor’s Summit on Higher Education in 2010. His priorities focus on attainment, academic review, collaboration and performance funding.
Missouri has had the lowest average tuition increases in the nation for the past three years, putting college within reach of more Missouri students. Enrollment surged as a result, setting records each fall and setting the state on a course for greater higher education attainment for its citizens.
This year, the CBHE approved and the legislature adopted a performance funding model initiated by Governor Nixon that will ensure that institutions continue to focus on students’ success, increase their productivity and assure the high quality of academic programs while continuing to contain costs.
The governor cited his veto of House Bill 253, which would cost the state more than $800 million, the equivalent of cutting all public support for higher education, shutting all Missouri prisons or eliminating the Department of Mental Health.
“At a time when a highly trained workforce is more essential than ever to competing and winning in the global economy, House Bill 253 would undermine our ability to provide the high quality, affordable higher education options Missouri students need and deserve," the governor said.
State Financial Outlook – Missouri Budget Director Linda Luebbering
State Budget Director Linda Luebbering said revenue collections are up and the state economy is slowly recovering. Personal income increased at the end of 2012, and wage growth will accelerate as the economic recovery strengthens in 2014.
Luebbering said House Bill 253 has huge negative implications for revenue that could happen immediately if it is enacted.
An update of the 2013 legislative session was presented by Paul Wagner, executive director of the Public Council on Higher Education; Zora Mulligan, executive director of the Missouri Community College Association; and Leroy Wade, interim deputy director of the Missouri Department of Higher Education.
Wagner said the 2014 budget contains an additional $25 million for higher education, which will be distributed according to the performance funding model approved by the Coordinating Board for Higher Education in December. He noted that the proposal for a capital bonding issue for construction and renovation at higher education institutions came closer than ever to passage this legislative session but did not muster enough support to clear either chamber. Sponsor Chris Kelly, D-Columbia, first introduced the measure in 2010.
Wagner praised increases to state student financial aid programs. Though modest, the increases signal recognition of the programs. The increases include $2.4 million to Bright Flight; $1 million to Access Missouri; and $2 million to the A+ scholarship program.
Mulligan said one of the major issues discussed during the 2013 legislative session was changes to state financial aid program eligibility requirements. HB 745 and SB 378 would have required students to pass the Algebra I and English I end-of-course exams in order to be eligible to receive A+, Access Missouri and Bright Flight.The bills would also have required students to complete a certain number of credit hours each year to establish eligibility for renewal awards, and would have reduced the number of semesters a student could receive Access Missouri awards from ten to eight.Neither HB 745 nor SB 378 passed, but it is likely that they may be proposed again next session.
Wade noted that veterans received considerable attention in this legislative session, including legislation that awards them residency status for tuition at public two- and four-year institutions. The CBHE was directed to establish a policy by Jan. 1, 2014, that will require public colleges and universities to award educational credits to veterans if courses were part of a student’s military training met the American Council on Education standards and are determined by the institution to be equivalent to courses offered by that institution.
Legislation also passed that defines an innovation campus as an educational partnership between high schools or districts, a Missouri four-year public or private institution, a Missouri-based business and either a community college or Linn State Technical College.
The name of Linn State Technical College was also changed by legislation that will take effect in 2014 to State Technical College of Missouri.
Table Top Discussions
Each table discussed one of three topics:
- Financing Higher Education: How to Meet the Funding Needs of Our Institutions
- Role of the Board in Advocacy and Friend-Raising
- Achieving Cost-Savings and Efficiencies: Sharing Effective Solutions
Each table summarized their discussion for the entire group. Highlights follow.
Financing Higher Education: How to Meet the Funding Needs of Our Institutions
- Increase public awareness about the value of higher education
- Create messages that are very clear and understandable
- Speak with one voice about higher education
- Voice support for the veto of HB 253
- Address tax credits to build revenue base
- Educate the public through speaking engagements, legislative and town hall meetings
- Emphasize the value of higher education to job creation and benefits to business and industry
- Stress accountability
- Support a higher education bond issue
- Increase foundation support and effectiveness
- Build foundation infrastructure
- Continue to attract best and brightest faculty and staff by offering competitive salaries and benefits
- Seek partnerships with businesses
- Collaborate to share resources and programs
- Increase entrepreneurship
- Set tuition rates according to what the market will bear
- Convince legislature to fully fund state financial aid programs
Role of the Board in Advocacy and Friend-Raising
- Make personal one-on-one contacts with legislators to build support
- Build support among alumni
- Use social media (Twitter, blogs, Facebook, etc.,) as well as traditional media (newspapers, TV, radio)
- Present a unified front to the media, legislators and the public
- Write letters to the editor signed by the board with guidance from institution’s public relations professionals
- Respond to questions with transparent answers, bearing in mind that no one board member should position themselves as speaking for the entire board unless appointed by board to do so
- Use lobbyist to keep president and board advised and initiate contact with legislators
- Keep a list of key people and talking points readily available
- Invite legislators to your campus
- Meet with mayor and business leaders regularly
- Advocacy should always be under the guidance of institution administration
- Thomas Jefferson quote: “Nothing can stop a man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”
- Bring various sectors of the education community together with business community
- Take a holistic (p-20) approach
- Agree on a simple message, e.g. “Education = Jobs”
- Host a week or day at the Capitol to interact with legislators
Achieving Cost-Savings and Efficiencies: Sharing Effective Solutions
- Institutions have been forced to reduce or freeze salaries, eliminate positions, rely on adjunct faculty, increase class sizes, reduce travel, offer early retirement and defer maintenance on infrastructure
- Positive steps institutions can take to mitigate these reductions include reducing energy costs through audits and making buildings more efficient; wellness programs to reduce health care increases; smoke-free policies; using technology to cut costs; setting up purchasing consortia; seeking partnerships with providers such as utility and technology companies; and being proactive and transparent when increasing tuition and fees.
Luncheon speaker – Dewayne Matthews, Vice President for Policy and Strategy, The Lumina Foundation
Higher Education Attainment: How Are We Doing and Why Do We Care?
Luncheon speaker Dewayne Matthews of the Lumina Foundation said Missouri ranks sixth in the nation in the increase in the percentage of the adult population with a college degree or high quality credential over the past three years. Missouri rose from 34.9 percent in 2008 to 36.4 percent in 2011.
He applauded work being done in Missouri to obtain this distinction, citing legislation passed in 2012 to speed the time to graduation by making transfer more efficient and implementing best practices in remediation. He noted that the grant from the Lumina Foundation to implement reverse transfer in Missouri will help the 755,000 Missourians with some college but no degree obtain a credential.
Young people in the U.S. are not better educated than older adults, unlike countries that have seen big growth in their college attainment rates. Attainment in the U.S. has been flat since the baby boom generation went to college 30 years ago.
Matthews described the effects of the economic recession on earnings for those with only a high school education compared to those with a college degree. The number of jobs requiring only a high school diploma fell by 5.6 million during the recession, while jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree or higher increased by almost 200,000 jobs during the same time period.
Matthews offered the following strategies to increase college attainment in Missouri:
- Align K-12 and postsecondary education
- Define “college-ready” and institute high standards at the secondary level to eliminate the need for remediation
- Use available technology
- Keep college affordable
- Use performance funding to reward institutions for efficient degree production
- Collaborate across institutions
- Use students’ perspectives when setting policies
- Keep clear learning outcomes to ensure high quality skills and knowledge