The Colorado Commission on Higher Education’s (CCHE) adoption last week of a new statewide master plan boasts aspirational goals that could affect the University of Colorado and other institutions, but any impact isn’t likely to be felt in the near future, university leaders say.
During the Dec. 6 meeting of the Faculty Council and Senate, Kathleen Bollard, vice president for academic affairs, said CU has had “a lot of input” on the metrics included in the plan. Named Colorado Competes, the plan was announced later that day by the CCHE.
“We hope that we can meet all of these (goals), although some are fairly aspirational,” Bollard said.
Final performance contracts are expected to be completed at the end of the month.
One concern Bollard noted: increasing the number of undergraduate degrees awarded by 1 percent annually for five years. “We don’t want to affect the quality of the degrees we produce,” she said.
While speaking to the Faculty Senate later in the meeting, CU President Bruce Benson said he has reservations about the performance contracts, in part because the stipulations only will apply once state funding of higher education reaches $706 million, a level that hasn’t been touched in several years. If and when the budget trigger is reached, performance contracts then only would be tied to funding above $650 million.
According to the CCHE, the performance contracts will establish transparent benchmarks to gauge how Colorado public institutions of higher education are performing in meeting the needs of the state and will be the basis for future performance funding from the state. Statewide goals include:
A copy of the master plan is available on the Department of Higher Education’s website.
In other business at last week’s Faculty Council and Senate meeting: