Gilmore Plans Institutional Performance Agreements

Posted: August 21, 2000 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Renewing his commitment to quality, affordability, and accountability in higher education, Gov. Jim Gilmore has announced a plan to develop Institutional Performance Agreements for George Mason University, Norfolk State University, the University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Virginia State University. Each Institutional Performance Agreement will serve as a long-term strategic plan for the respective schools, tying tax support to strategic planning and accountability measures for academic quality and operational efficiency.

Since taking office in January 1998, Gilmore and the General Assembly have increased tax funding for higher education operating budgets by $475 million, or 41 percent, from $1.15 billion in fiscal year 1998 to $1.63 billion in fiscal year 2001. In addition, Virginia taxpayers have spent more than $520 million to improve college campuses since 1998.

“Higher education in Virginia needs a mechanism to ensure our tremendous investments yield tangible, measurable results in terms of improved academic quality for students and institutional efficiency for tuition payers and taxpayers,” says Gilmore. “I am confident the strategic plans drafted for these institutions this year will serve as models for other institutions to follow in future years.”

The Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Higher Education recommended the development of performance agreements in February to provide each institution with a multi-year funding commitment and enhanced managerial autonomy in return for agreed-upon performance standards addressing academic quality and operational efficiency. The 2000 General Assembly endorsed the concept in Item 131 of the Appropriation Act. Item 131 requires the secretary of education to recommend to the 2001 General Assembly which institutions should be considered for institutional performance agreements. After several months of review, the governor and secretary of education have determined that five schools are ready for the development of agreements.

Two weeks ago, Gilmore announced a special task force, chaired by Secretary of Education Wil Bryant, to address the unique missions and needs of Norfolk State University and Virginia State University. Bryant will take the lead in developing agreements for George Mason, the University of Virginia, and Virginia Commonwealth University in consultation with representatives of those institutions this month.

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