College professors are raising concerns about a plan to tie state funding for higher education with performance. The proposal calls for targets in areas like graduation rates and degrees in high demand fields. Schools would have to meet the targets to qualify for part of their state funding starting after 2016.
Community College of Rhode Island English Professor Anthony Amore says students and faculty need to play a role in setting the performance measures.
“I have faculty of several hundred individuals who are highly trained, highly experience, highly motivated, highly intelligent individuals who can easily solve a problem if you went to them and asked them to solve a problem,” said Amore.
Supporters pose it as an incentive to bring change that’s needed for a stronger workforce. Critics say this tactic is unproven. Amore said he is concerned about unintended consequences.
“The impact that this could potentially have on access. Community Colleges to my way of thinking, they’re like the Ellis Island of colleges we’re a gateway,” said Amore.
A state senate committee approved the proposal Wednesday, with changes that would give faculty and students a larger voice in setting performance measures. The bill has support from Senate President Teresa Paiva-Weed and the State Commissioner of Higher Education.
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