Public Affairs

Master Plan Committee Looks at Financing Higher Education

April 13, 2010
By Marilyn Pitts

The funding levels of the Higher Education Compact are "a floor not a ceiling," CSU Board of Trustees Chair Herbert Carter told the Joint Committee on the Master Plan for Higher Education last week at its hearing covering financing higher education.  Carter pointed out that timely enactment of the state budget is crucial for effective planning at the CSU. He also noted the importance of family and student awareness of admissions and preparation for collegiate coursework, and serving students effectively by increasing degree completion rates and improving the transfer function.

State lawmakers begin their Master Plan review hearings in December 2009 to determine whether the plan’s original goals of providing access to a quality college education are still serving the needs of the state’s students and its workforce. At its March 22 hearing, the legislative panel examined accountability in higher education, including creating a statewide accountability system with clearly stated goals and streamlined reports. CSU Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer Jeri Echeverria addressed the committee, highlighting two examples of how the CSU addresses academic accountability—the Voluntary System of Accountability (VSA) website and the Graduation Initiative. The final hearing, which will be scheduled later this month, will allow the committee to review testimony, findings and data, and determine next steps.