Dr. Evelyn Jorgenson, outgoing president at Moberly Area Community College, is among those applauding Gov. Jay Nixon’s proposal to increase funding for Missouri’s public colleges and universities. When it comes to how the $34 million funding increase is divided, Jorgenson is still applauding, but not as vigorously.
During his State of the State address Monday, Nixon proposed implementing a new performance funding plan that would reward some schools with more money than others for meeting goals in such things as student retention and graduation. Under Nixon’s plan, some colleges could get as much as a 5.4 percent increase while others could see as little as a 2.2 percent boost in state funds.
Jorgenson, who will leave MACC in June to become president of Northwest Arkansas Community College in Bentonville, Ark., is delighted that the governor wants to boost funding for higher education.
“We have suffered through a number of years where because of the economic downtown we’ve had cuts in state appropriations,” she said. “We’re always very supportive of any increase we can get from the state that allows us to hold the line on tuition increases. I’m supportive of what the governor is planning to do.”
As for how the funding increase would be divided, Jorgenson has some concerns.
“I don’t object to performance funding. It’s something we have to be careful with and be sure that everyone is calculating and counting the same way. Sometimes what we find is one institution interprets it one way ... counts it one way and another institution might do it differently,” she said. “When you start tying money to those things obviously we want to be sure everybody is comparing apples to apples and we’re all counting the same way and using the same definitions. If that can be done then I’m completely supportive.”
Because MACC has met 80 percent of its educational goals, it would see a 4.3 percent state funding increase of $212,270, according to The Associated Press.
In November, MACC broke ground for its new campus in Hannibal.
(The Associated Press contributed to this story.)