FSU was on the brink of disaster for this year’s performance funding; FSU Interim Provost argues salary metric doesn’t reflect true value of arts and humanities grads

FSU Interim Provost Sally McRorie is quoted in the article arguing that the salary metric is not fair and should be changed because it understates the true economic value of arts and humanities grads.  Provost McRorie is an art historian and former Dean of FSU’s College of Fine Arts, where she did a terrific job.  

I’ll just say here that arguing about the priorities represented by the metrics is probably not a good way to improve FSU’s standing with legislators and other policy-makers.

The Florida Legislature has wrapped up an ugly budget battle, and Florida State University will receive $16.7 million in new money from a pool set aside for public institutions. That’s a small fraction of the university’s overall operating budget. But Florida State saw its state appropriation drop nearly $150 million from the 2006 to the 2012 academic years, so any new money is huge…

The university nearly missed out on that windfall, though, because it was awarded under Florida’s performance-based funding model…

If Florida State had scored a single point lower on any of the State University System of Florida Board of Governors’ 10 performance metrics— each of which is measured on a five-point scale — the university would have ranked as one of the system’s bottom three performers. Finish in the bottom three, and you’re not eligible to take home any money from the performance-funding pool…

One area that almost cost the university dearly: the first-year earnings of its graduates who find employment in Florida. The median 2012-13 Florida State graduate earned $31,600, giving the university four out of five points on the 2015 performance-funding model. However, if the median graduate had earned $400 less, the university would have dropped another point and lost out on the new funds…

Missing that threshold would have cost the university a lot more than $16.7 million, since Florida’s performance-based awards can recur annually after the initial one is paid out. Losing out on funds for one year can amount to a hit of more than $100 million over the course of a decade…

The University of Florida, where 55 percent of graduates receive STEM degrees, may have an earnings edge over Florida State, where that number is just 38 percent…

Other university officials take issue with the time frame that’s being measured.

“Although first-year salaries for graduates may not start at as high a level as for those in STEM fields, many of our arts and humanities graduates succeed as entrepreneurial artists and arts managers, for example, or pursue graduate and professional degrees, all of which result in higher midcareer salaries,” said Sally E. McRorie, interim provost at Florida State.

The Florida Board of Governors has cited research defending the value of first-year earnings data.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to FSU was on the brink of disaster for this year’s performance funding; FSU Interim Provost argues salary metric doesn’t reflect true value of arts and humanities grads

  1. Pingback: Bill to tighten up university performance funding criteria sailing through Senate committees | Bridge to Tomorrow

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: