FAYETTEVILLE — State funding to public colleges and universities would increase overall by 1.34 percent to $563.4 million in the next fiscal year based on calculations related to the state’s new productivity index for higher education.
The recommendations approved Friday by the state’s Higher Education Coordinating Board require approval from state legislators and Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who has championed the productivity index as a way to incentivize student progress in contrast to awarding funding based on a school’s enrollment.
The index was used last year for the first time, but schools could only gain funds. The latest recommendations now allow for funding losses at schools not boosting their productivity score. The index, each year calculated using three years worth of data, is based in part on credentials earned by students.
Six universities would see funding gains under the productivity index, increases ranging from $75,000 to $3.3 million for the 12-month period that begins July 2019.
Funding losses have been capped at 1 percent for the upcoming fiscal year. Among four-year universities, only the University of Arkansas at Monticello would see the maximum percentage decline, losing $159,460 in funding under the index recommendations.
Twelve two-year colleges would have funding cut by the maximum one-percent. Funding gains at two-year colleges range from $64,112 to $921,406, with eight schools seeing productivity-related funding increases.
Read Saturday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.