LOGAN - Local history suggests that Utah has always been a hard-working, efficient state. Even a beehive gracing the state's seal suggests that the motto "industry" is a Utah trait held true.
And a new report released today by the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education indicates that "industry" exists in higher education as the Utah System of Higher Education has been identified as one of the most efficient systems in the nation in generating degrees for the dollars spent. This 24-page report unveiled by Commissioner Bill Sederburg at the State Board of Regents meeting at Utah State University describes how USHE institutions are able to maintain a high quality of education while "doing more with less." This has led the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS) to conclude that Utah is third in the country for efficiency in higher education.
Compared to the rest of the country, Utah's institutions of higher education receive approximately 74 percent of the funding (from all sources including tuition) that their peer institutions receive. The 2011 USHE Efficiency Report looks at various cost-cutting solutions from successful transferability of credits within USHE institutions to concurrent enrollment courses. Faculty efficiencies, technology and library integration and partnerships with state and local agencies are some of the other ways education funds are utilized while continuously improving institutions to serve the needs of Utah's students.
The analysis of this new report was based on the NCHEMS findings of Utah as a "High Performance, Low Funding" state for undergraduate students and funding. "Utah receives less state appropriation and collects less tuition per full time student than most states, so we've had to come up with solutions to do more with less," said Commissioner Bill Sederburg. "Therefore, Utah has adopted various system-level solutions across campuses, and institutions have also created efficiencies that work for each of them." The results are that Utah has become a model for the United States in managing a higher education system during an economic downturn.
USHE includes all of Utah's eight public colleges and universities: The University of Utah, Utah State University, Weber State University, Southern Utah University, Snow College, Dixie State College, Utah Valley University and Salt Lake Community College.
For more information or to download a digital copy of the 2011 USHE Efficiency Report, visit www.higheredutah.org.