Revising Higher Education Performance Requirements
The bill repeals a performance-based funding plan for institutions of higher education (institutions) that was included in the master plan for Colorado postsecondary education. The performance-based funding plan was not implemented.
The bill repeals the statutory provision requiring performance contracts between the department of higher education (department) and each institution, except for performance contracts with the Colorado school of mines and private institutions participating in the college opportunity fund program. Instead, the department and the public institutions shall affirm annually the institutions' contribution toward meeting master plan goals. The department shall report annually to legislative committees concerning the institutions' progress towards those goals using data collected for state and federal reporting and state funding purposes. The department shall post the information on its website. The bill makes conforming amendments relating to the repeal.
The bill repeals a provision that allowed the Colorado commission on higher education (commission) to waive any provision of article 1 of title 23, Colorado Revised Statutes, for a governing board with a performance contract. The bill replaces this with provisions that modify statutory sections that are currently waived or modified for all the state higher education governing boards as part of their performance contracts. Specifically, the bill:
- Removes the requirement that an institution submit a proposal to obtain approval from the commission to create, modify, or discontinue an academic or vocational program, so long as the programs offered are consistent with the institution's statutory role and mission;
- Amends provisions relating to commission master plan approval and approval of capital construction projects. Under certain circumstances, and with the commission's approval, an institution is not required to seek facility master plan approval or approval of capital construction projects.
- Amends provisions related to student fees to enable the commission to waive fee policies.
The bill makes other changes to commission responsibilities, including repealing an obsolete program for designating institutions' programs of excellence, allowing the commission to waive provisions relating to its oversight of graduate program duplication, requiring a report on student fees to continue indefinitely and to address student tuition, and modifying the commission's responsibilities related to the development of cooperative programs among state-supported institutions.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)