AGENDA June 11, 2012I. Welcome/Introductions/Minutes 12:30 p.m. – 12:45 p.m. D. BrillII. Economic & Demographic Trends 12:45 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. A. BakerIII. Board of Governor’s Strategic Plan 1:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. F. BroganIV. Brief Recess 2:45 p.m. – 3 p.m.V. Higher Education Coordinating Council 3 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. F. BroganVI. Framing Issues & Process Review 3:45 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. D. BrillVI. Discussion & Public Comment 4 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Process MapMay 4 June 11 June 25 July 26 Sept. 21 Oct. 12 Oct. 30 Organize Review & Input Collection Solution Development Refinement Edit/Delivery
Framing the Issues• Questions often influence answers.• Pursuit of solutions creates oversimplification.• Example: Five narratives of tuition inflation. Source: Mumper, Michael and Melissa L. Freeman (2011) “The Continuing Paradox of Public College Tuition Inflation,” pgs. 37-60 in The States and Public Higher Education Policy: Affordability, Acces and Accountability, Second Edition, The Johns Hopkins University Press.
Tuition Inflation Narrative OneState Governments Make Prices Rise The decline in state support forces administrators and boards to raise tuition.ASSUMPTIONS:• Only two major revenue sources: Tuition and State Appropriations• Institutional expenditures are fixed.CONSEQUENCES:• Campus leaders reacting to forces beyond their control.• Governors/Legislators are villains.• Since cyclical changes in economy reduce revenues, none of the participants have to accept responsibility—little reason to change status quo.• Lobbying efforts increase.
Tuition Inflation Narrative TwoRising costs of competing public goods make prices rise. Increased demands from other budget items crowds out university funding.ASSUMPTIONS:• Budget situation results from choices made by Governors/Legislators and public.• Higher Education increasingly seen as private good vs. public good.CONSEQUENCES:• Cuts to Higher Education positioned as different than cutting funds to Medicaid, Criminal Justice and Infrastructure.• Governors/Legislators and public are villains.• Expectation that donors and students pick up greater share/burden.• Feeds to “Narrative One.”
Tuition Inflation Narrative ThreeQuality programs cost money. Tuition increases caused by changes in spending drivers.ASSUMPTIONS:• Certain expenditures required to provide a high-quality education.• Certain expenditures required to compete for best students/faculty.CONSEQUENCES:• College becomes a lifestyle, not just an education—costs driven by ever increasing student expectations.• Policies to control costs are based on misunderstanding of the problem of costs.• Universities face choice: Keep up (with the Joneses) or fall behind.
Tuition Inflation Narrative FourLack of control/accountability increase tuition. University leadership fails to reign in spending patterns.ASSUMPTIONS:• Leaders failing to make choices about where to spend limited funds.• Universities must live within their means.• Increasingly held view that universities don’t spend their money in appropriate ways.CONSEQUENCES:• Lingering disagreement over the priorities of public Higher Education. – Campus Leaders/Faculty: Research and Rankings vs. Teaching/Workforce Prep• Pressure to improve efficiencies or increase productivity.• If campus leaders will not make tough decisions, funding cuts will force them to do so.
Tuition Inflation Narrative FiveWhat’s the problem? Increased enrollment in spite of increased tuition suggests prices not too high.ASSUMPTION:• Problem isn’t that the poor pay too much, but that the rich pay too little.CONSEQUENCES:• College price increases seen as a concern only when they begin to stop students from entering public colleges.• Redirecting some students who would otherwise want to attend flagship universities to alternatives seen as a reasonable trade off.
Conclusions1. Our work is wrought with paradox and complexities.2. What we assume about the problem will influence the solutions we develop.3. Attempting to prove which of the five narratives is “correct” is counter-productive.4. We must break from the temptation to make the case for solutions driven by assumptions and direct our attention to examining the intended and unintended consequences of the incentives put in place to deliver the ultimate outcomes desired.
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