Commission Boardroom, Parkway Towers
September 7, 2005 - 11:00 a.m. CDT
To: Commission Members
From: Richard G. Rhoda
Date: September 2, 2005
Enclosed for your review are briefing materials for the September 7 called meeting of the Commission, which will be held at 11:00 a.m., Central Time, in the Commission’s boardroom on the 18th floor of Parkway Towers. The agenda for the meeting is limited to the call, as follows:
The Commission staff is recommending approval of the new master plan and funding formula, both of which were reviewed recently with the legislative committee that was established for this purpose. The committee met on August 23 and discussed in depth various aspects of the plan and formula. A more thorough summary of the discussion will be presented on September 7.
With respect to the master plan, the final draft that is enclosed incorporates editorial changes that had been suggested over the course of the review process. It also reflects the recently announced GEAR UP grant award. Otherwise, the final draft is true to the provisions adopted in concept at the April 14 Commission meeting.
The enclosed summary of the new funding formula contains the same information that was presented and adopted in concept on April 14. A timeline of the development of the new formula has been added to demonstrate the level of review and input that has gone into this effort.
Also enclosed is a summary overview of the new GEAR UP grant.
THEC has received a State GEAR UP grant for twenty million dollars in federal funds over six years. Tennessee's GEAR UP project will promote student achievement and enhance awareness of the need to expand access to post-secondary education statewide, especially in those areas of the state that are traditionally underserved. Specifically, the Tennessee GEAR UP project aims to (1) increase the academic performance and preparation of students in order to prepare them for post-secondary education; (2) increase high school graduation rates and transition rates to post-secondary education; and (3) increase education expectations and aspirations for students and their families. The GEAR UP project will directly support access and student preparation goals of The 2005-2010 Master Plan for Tennessee Higher Education. Staff will provide more detailed information on September 7.
The last agenda item is a briefing on the study that is underway pursuant to a provision in the 2005 Appropriation Bill:
“The Tennessee Higher Education Commission shall, in conjunction with the Tennessee Board of Regents and the University of Tennessee, coordinate the creation of undergraduate tuition models for public higher education in Tennessee. The models shall include at least a five year projection of potential undergraduate tuition increases at public institutions of higher education including Tennessee Technology Centers. These models shall consider the impact of undergraduate student enrollment growth, the impact of Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship, need-based financial aid programs, anticipated state appropriations, estimated maintenance and operational costs and other fixed costs, salary and benefit and technology costs, maintaining competitiveness with the respective institutions’ peer institutions, as well as other public and private institutions and any other relevant factors. This analysis shall also include an evaluation of the growth in higher education costs in relation to the consumer price index.”
A conference call meeting with Chancellor Manning and President Petersen was held earlier this week to review the study design and identify UT and TBR staff that will be engaged in the study.
We look forward to the meeting next Wednesday. Please advise regarding questions or comments concerning the agenda items.