February 2011 State Governance Action Report
The content of this edition of the State Governance Action Report was informed by newspaper reports, online reports, state and institutional Web sites, and conversations with state and higher education leaders. It is current through February 1, 2011.
Much of this legislative activity comes at a time when the fiscal conditions of states are reaching their trough. Ramifications of budget cuts from the last two fiscal years have had a direct bearing on many of the proposals and developments described in this report, and it is likely that further changes will occur as states look to reduce spending and streamline government operations.
Activities in the states mentioned within this report revolve around several issues, but most prominent are the inter-related themes of:
- budget reductions for higher education;
- the pervasive emphasis on degree production and college completion; and
- redefined relationships between higher education and state government as seen in: structural governance changes; efforts to expand institutional autonomy and fiscal flexibility, especially around tuition setting authority; and
an emphasis on funding institutions based more on college completion and less on enrollment and capacity-building.