FIU’s successful efforts to improve student success while aligning its strategy with state performance measures were highlighted Thursday at a rally hosted by the Association of Public and Land-Supported Universities (APLU ) and the Coalition of Universities Serving Cities (USU) at MMC.
Public urban research universities continue to face a host of challenges ranging from senior leadership transitions to mergers to the shift to performance-based public funding. To help institutions successfully meet these challenges and thrive, APLU and USU have worked with FIU, Georgia State University, and Portland State University through the Bill Foundation-funded Frontier Set initiative. & Melinda Gates.
Through strategic and tactical efforts, participating Frontier Set universities and partner organizations explored the whys and wherefores of institutional transformation. After six years of working with the three universities, APLU and USU released in-depth case studies at Thursday’s meeting as roadmaps with ideas to help other institutions deal with these changes.
The CRF roadmap focused on the university’s response to the state’s performance-based funding (PBF) model. Nearly 30 states have some form of performance-based public funding formula, tying public funding to student outcomes such as graduation, retention, and student costs. Such funding models can create challenges for institutions seeking to prioritize equity or serve as open-access institutions enrolling students of varying levels of preparation.
To successfully transition to the performance-based funding model, the CRF has made it clear that its primary mission is to advance equity and serve as an anchor institution improving the well-being of its community – even if the university was aligning its operations with new state-defined measures. CRF focused on data-driven decision-making, innovation in teaching and learning, and creating new pathways for student success.
Other roadmaps presented included Georgia State University merging with Georgia Perimeter College in 2016 and Portland State University navigating a leadership transition by adopting a student-centered approach.
“Our transformational efforts around student success have been supported by APLU and USU, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation,” said Elizabeth Béjar, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. of the FRC. “We are proud of the results achieved through our work, collaborating to find solutions to some of the greatest obstacles facing urban research universities, including the simultaneous development and growth of academic excellence and equity. .”
“Driving institutional transformation can be a daunting undertaking at the best of times,” said Andréa Rodriguez, director of USU and APLU’s Office of Urban Initiatives, who led the work alongside her colleagues at the ‘APLU and USU, Mitzy Gonzalez and Matt Renn. “Yet we know that universities often face thorny challenges that can impede the process of institutional transformation. We are thrilled to share examples of three urban public universities that have done just that by identifying barriers to student success amid institutional changes from senior leadership transitions, institutional mergers, and shifts to funding models based on performance. The roadmaps are a guide on how other institutions can also be transformative through internal and external change.
Participants who attend the APLU and USU Gathering on Thursday and Friday are eligible to receive a microcreditissued by CRF in Principles of Institutional Transformation.
In April, USU will release the open-access learning module in which participants can highlight the critical elements and principles of institutional transformation.