These days, everyone is asking whether higher education provides a good return on investment. The American Association of State Colleges and Universities predicts a growing number of state governments will implement new accountability practices. It reports that 33 states have begun moving toward judging performance before allocating dollars—up from just 10 states two years ago.
Last year, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett established the Commission on Postsecondary Education. Prominent among the commission’s recommendations is one that requires any college or university that receives commonwealth funding to set and meet goals for performance. I am glad to report that IUP and its sister institutions in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education are well ahead of the crowd. While so many are just beginning the conversation about performance, we have been reporting to the state on it for nearly two decades—meaning that IUP is a leader in Pennsylvania and across the nation.
See “Performance Has Its Rewards,” elsewhere in this issue, for details on how we account for our performance.
Being accountable also includes trying to be more efficient in all that we do. Recent legislation will assist us in that way, too. The Higher Education Modernization Act, passed last summer, has removed restrictions and now allows IUP to operate more like private and state-related institutions always have. For example, the legislation enables our faculty members to be more entrepreneurial, providing them with flexibility in working directly with businesses to develop commercial applications for any inventions they might develop in the course of their research. Until recently, their status as state employees prohibited that. We expect the change will make us even more attractive to top-notch scholars and assist us with faculty and graduate student recruitment. It will also increase revenue through sponsored research and help develop Pennsylvania’s economy. In addition, the legislation allows us to simplify procurement methods and take advantage of joint purchasing arrangements, cutting our operating costs.
When we operate with accountability and efficiency—and continually strive to improve our performance—we better meet our obligations to the taxpayers and demonstrate our integrity to those who support us philanthropically. You can trust that IUP is a great investment.
More from the Spring 2013 Issue of IUP Magazine
IUP expertise is tapped in shale gas boom
Bob Anderson ’67 helps people who are dying, whether it’s at the bedside or disaster site
Coach Curt Cignetti has fast returned IUP football to a tradition of success--one he knows well
IUP has always embraced the challenge of performance-based rewards from Harrisburg
Putting a face on IUP for prospective students around the country
Professor George Johnson and his wife, Julie, leave a beautiful campus legacy