Funding Level Recommendations

Dear Campus Community:

Funding recommendations for the next fiscal year have been released by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission. Below you will find the UofM specific formula funding component analysis. The image details our performance across all of the formula components. The recommendation is for an overall funding level increase of $5,191,100 with total state support of $116,018,300, a 4.7% increase over the previous fiscal year. As you are aware, the formula works on rolling three-year average performance metrics and performance relative to the other public universities in Tennessee. As is detailed in the graphic, performance areas that resulted in funding level decreases included a relative decline in master's degree production, 60 and 90-hour progression numbers, along with research/service and our 6-year graduation rate. As was shared in a previous communication, our 6-year graduation rate increased almost a full percentage point this year after a decline in the previous fiscal year. As you are also aware, the 60 and 90-hour progression data was impacted by a sequence of smaller freshman class numbers prior to the past two years in which we have seen record freshman enrollment.

Our undergraduate degree numbers have simply been outstanding. Our overall performance data is headed in the right direction and, in particular, our graduation rate. This is a long-term goal, one that requires persistent effort over many years. We have witnessed significant progress, and I am confident we will achieve our goal of a 55% six-year graduation rate.

In short, the recommendation of a funding increase of $5.2M in overall funding is very good news. A final budget will not be determined until Governor Haslam and the Legislature weigh in with the coming session set to begin in late January. A final budget will not be approved until May 2018. I will certainly keep you updated throughout the session. Thank you for your hard work and dedication to our University, students and community.

2018 THEC Funding Recommendation

Warm regards,

M. David Rudd
President | Distinguished University Professor