From: Nseabasi Ufot Date: Thu, Mar 15, 2012 at 5:17 PM Subject: RE: "Higher Education Performance Standards" Model Bill To: Steve Horn Hello Steve, I just finished reading and marking up the model legislation that you sent. I can say with a fair amount of certainty that this is not the kind of bill that the AAUP would support. We actually have recently advised state conferences to oppose similar legislation (Connecticut immediately comes to mind). The "red flags": 1) This bill seeks to reorganize a state's entire public higher education system, including the development of performance standards and the evaluation of institutions' ability to meet said standards with no faculty input and without meaningful input from all of the state's public colleges and universities. The Commission calls for a total of 14 members, with only 3 members representing public colleges and universities). 2) It seeks to change the state's higher education funding model by tying appropriations to these new performance standards. It also codifies that "pay for performance" and "Race to the Top"-type competitive grants will partially fund undergraduate education. 3) The legislation conspicuously leaves out faculty and students representatives when discussing the composition of the Commission. It prohibits any one from serving on the commission who has, within the past 5 years, served on a governing board for, been an employee of, or has an immediate family member who has been an employee of, a public institution of higher learning. 4) It intimates, and in a few places outright declares, that the purpose of higher education in the state is to support the state's economic interests, or to serve the business community. 5) It discusses "diversity" in very narrow terms. It briefly mentions "blacks" and "women" as minority groups that need to be represented in the composition of the commission, but makes no attempt to connect diversity with any educational/institutional goals. 6) There are several examples of legislative interference with an institution's ability to determine its mission. Tries to make the commission the body responsible for determining institutional priorities and defining "academic quality". 7) Legislatively mandates post-tenure review for tenured faculty; intrudes into institutional and faculty prerogatives like faculty compensation, class sizes/ratios, mandates for performance reviews, availability to students outside of the classroom. 8) Includes a mandate that public colleges and universities cooperate and collaborate with private industry, but does not include an explanation. 9) Attempts to evaluate institutions and programs by using data that is tenuously (at best) related to program quality, such as employer feedback on graduates who were employed or not employed; scores of graduates on post-undergraduate professional, graduate, or employment-related examinations and certification tests. 10) Requires the state to evaluate institutions based on "financial support for reform in teacher education". No further explanation. 11) Creates multiple avenues for administrative and legislative overreaching into the state's public institutions of higher education and their policies, programs, curricula, facilities, and financing. Please feel free to follow up about this particular model legislation, a specific state's higher education system, or this new crop of "bill mills" like ALEC and AEI. Take Care, NU
""Red Flags" AAUP CSG Model Bill Email"