New Site, Partnership Provides Higher Education Info

The Indiana Chamber is partnering with the Indiana Commission for Higher Education and the governor’s office on a grant from the Lumina Foundation for Education to enhance the performance of the state’s public colleges and universities. A recent productivity report, video success story in Richmond and much more can be found at the Achieve Indiana website.

Video Spotlights Higher Ed Success Story at Ivy Tech & IU East

A BizVoice® magazine story earlier this year included the following quote:

“We used to have an associate degree in nursing,” states Nasser Paydar, chancellor of Indiana University East (IU East) in Richmond. “Ivy Tech has an associate degree in nursing. What this did was confuse the students in the first place. Why would two state institutions within walking distance have the same degree program, accredited by the same agency?”

IU East no longer has any associate degree programs. Its partnership with its neighboring Ivy Tech campus and other locations within its region goes much deeper. It is a formula that can – and should be – replicated in areas around the state.

But don’t take our word for it. Listen to students, faculty and administrators at the two Richmond campuses describe how young people are able to move through the higher education process more efficiently and be prepared to enter the state’s workforce. A video on the Achieve Indiana web site tells this important story – in their words. 

‘Good’ Higher Ed Performance Not Good Enough

A new higher education report finds that Indiana’s public colleges and universities are performing "relatively well" while generally receiving "average or near average" funding.

Teresa Lubbers, Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education, doesn’t want anyone to be satisfied. Acknowledging that some in the Hoosier state might be content and even ask, "What do you expect?" Lubbers answers with, "I expect a whole lot more than middle of the pack."

The report, Crossing the Starting Line: An Examination of Productivity at Indiana’s Public Colleges and Universities, was prepared by Patrick Kelly of NCHEMS — the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems. It is part of an Indiana Chamber and higher education commission productivity initiative funded by the Lumina Foundation for Education.

"The good news is that Indiana is a frontrunner in tackling this issue," Kelly states. The findings are not "gloom and doom" and he emphasized that more money is not the answer — "it’s not just about increasing resources to improve performance."

Indiana’s public college and university campuses are compared to their national (and largely self-identified) peers. Performance measures are graduation rates within 150% of program time, first-year retention rates and undergraduate credentials per 100 full-time students. The report also emphasizes Indiana’s dramatic underproduction of associate degrees and certificates compared to other states.

Lubbers and Indiana Chamber President Kevin Brinegar both pointed to the big picture, the necessity for more people to earn higher education credentials and linking that to business and workforce needs.

What’s next? Positive steps would include continuing the move toward increased completion and performance-based funding for colleges and universities (Indiana is trying but it’s not an easy path from the traditional state dollars based on the number of students coming through the doors) and improving the entry for older adults into the education system (a focus for Ivy Tech, but one that is critical to businesses and their employees).

The full report, press release, individual campus profiles and additional higher education news and research are available at the Chamber-created Achieve Indiana web site.