UNC-system schools create new funding metrics

Anne Buie

Correction: A previous version of this article previously implied one of the UNC-system school’s  was having infrasturcture problems. The quote has been removed. The Appalachian apologizes for the error.

Appalachian State University and the other 16 UNC-system schools may soon have funding allotted based on a new set of criteria.

“The General Administration, the higher education authority for the UNC-system, asked each campus to indicate a set of metrics that would demonstrate improvement,” Provost Lori Gonzalez said.

The new performance-based metric system, which would incorporate several new and varied criteria, may help protect universities from serious issues.

The core measure, which will be applied to all campuses, are freshman to sophomore retention rate, six-year graduation rate, undergraduate degree efficiency, number of bachelor’s degrees awarded to Pell Grant recipients and financial integrity.

In addition, universities were asked to create their own set of criteria to be judged fairly. Appalachian’s metrics were transfer four-year graduation rate, graduate student degree efficiency, investment per degree and space utilization, Gonzalez said.

“It is still a current conversation at General Administration,” said Cameron Carswell, Association of Student Governments president.

“The research is being completed to accommodate for the individualism of each university, since one standard funding metric would not be equal at schools of different sizes and demographics.”

Previously, funding was appropriated based on each university’s enrollment growth. This criterion was good for some universities, but crippling to those that were not growing, said Frank Byrne, ASG’s chief of staff.

“We do not know how the funding will be distributed or if funding will be distributed,” Gonzalez said. “However, our campus always works to improve quality, so this process will be very beneficial.”


Story: JOSH FARMER, Senior News Reporter