Gov. Nathan Deal announced that he has formed a higher education funding study commission through Executive Order. The commission will serve in an advisory capacity and will examine how the funding formulas for the University System and Technical College System should be changed in order to improve higher education outcomes in the state. `The work of this commission will help us ensure that taxpayer dollars are being used to boost our No. 1 tool for economic development: a talented, highly educated workforce,` Deal said. `We have assembled a strong group representing every region in the state to do this work, and I look forward to receiving its recommendations.`

Georgia spends approximately 11 percent of the state budget and approximately two-thirds of the lottery funds on providing access to college.

The commission’s recommendations will focus on how to incentivize college completion through performance funding and other mechanisms.

`The current funding formula is based on student enrollment but not student completion,” Deal said. “It rewards institutions for increasing the number of students but does not consider whether or not institutions are successful in educating those students. I want to incentivize college completion.”

The commission may also review existing components of the higher education funding formulas, which were originally developed in 1982. The commission shall provide recommendations to the governor by Dec. 1, 2012.

By 2018, more than 60 percent of job openings in Georgia will require some form of postsecondary education. However, less than a quarter of full-time students at two-year colleges graduate. For public four-year colleges, only 44 percent of students graduate within six years. To meet this need, the state of Georgia needs strong university and technical college systems to prepare its students to be career-ready upon graduation.

    Representing the University System of Georgia:

  • Mr. Hank Huckaby, Chancellor, University System of Georgia, Mr. Don Leeburn, Jr., At-Large Member, Board of Regents, Mr. Philip Wilheit, Sr., At-Large Member, Board of Regents, Dr. Bud Peterson, President, Georgia Institute of Technology, Dr. Gary McGaha, President, Atlanta Metro College, Dr. Ron Core, Vice President for Business and Finance, Georgia Southern University, Dr. Sandra Jordan, Provost, Georgia College and State University, Mr. James Taylor, Student, University of Georgia, Mr. Kevin Vantrees, Student, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College,
    Representing the Technical College System of Georgia:

  • Mr. Ron Jackson, Commissioner, Technical College System of Georgia, Mr. Otis M. Raybon, Jr., 11th Congressional District, State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia, Mr. Michael Sullivan, 7th Congressional District, State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia, Dr. Anthony Parker, President, Albany Technical College, Dr. Ray Perren, President, Wiregrass Technical College, Dr. Mindy McCannon, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Georgia Northwestern Technical College, Mr. David Weldon, Vice President of Administration, Gwinnett Technical College, Mr. Alvie Coles, Student, Ogeechee Technical College
    Representing the Georgia House of Representatives:

  • Chairman Terry England, Appropriations Committee, Chairman Len Walker, Higher Education Committee, Chairman Tom Rice, Motor Vehicles Committee
    Representing the Georgia Senate:

  • Chairman Jack Hill, Appropriations Committee, Chairman Buddy Carter, Higher Education Committee, Chairman Johnny Grant, Public Safety Committee
    Representing the Business Community:

  • Mr. Chris Klaus, CEO, Kaneva, Ms. Alexis Balkum, Vice President of Learning and Development, Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.
    Representing the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget:

  • Debbie Dlugolenski, Director, Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget and State Chief Financial Officer,

The Commission will be co-chaired by the two Higher Education Chairmen, Walker and Carter.