By Amanda Burdette
ROCKVILLE – The University System of Maryland Board of Regents Friday approved strategic goals set by individual campuses to both improve education and keep down consumer costs.
If the institutions meet their targets for the Year 2003, they will receive financial rewards, the board decided. Just how to fund those incentives will be determined at the February meeting.
The goals established under the system’s Vision III plan in 1995 provide funding through entrepreneurial projects, Chancellor Donald N. Langenberg said. He used the example of money generated from purchases by non-students at university bookstores.
Financial incentives were added through an amendment proposed by Finance Committee Chairman Edwin Crawford.
Crawford said in an interview that one objective is to show the General Assembly that the 2003 goals are not public relations stunt, but intended to improve the institutions.
Langenberg put it this way: “Progress will have budgetary consequences.”
Regent Chairman Lance Billingsley stressed to the board that the new standards are deliberately ambitious. Vision III calls for 20 percent systemwide increases in enrollment, productivity and real increases in net income from sources other than government and tuition.
Progress will be measured from where each USM institution stood in 1995. The three major areas — enrollment, productivity and income — are broken down into nine categories that measure use of classroom space, gains in alumni donations and graduation rates.
Langenberg said that the 2003 goals wouldn’t be there if the institutions didn’t think they could achieve them. The goals were evaluated with the regents prior to Friday’s meeting, he said. -30-