Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Double the numbers: Morehead and U of L still aim high

Morehead and U of L are aiming high. In negotiations with CPE staff, they have agreed to increase bachelor’s degrees this year at a pace fast enough that to meet their 2020 goals, while the current mighty recession has led other schools to plan weaker growth.

The Council on Postsecondary Education will be asked to approve all schools' bachelor's degree goals for the 2010 academic year at its meeting on Thursday.

Morehead plans an 11.8 percent two-year increase, from 973 bachelor’s awards in 2008 to 1,088 in 2010. Continuing that growth rate in the years ahead will be more than enough to meet Morehead’s Double the Numbers goal of 1,799 degrees in 2020.

Louisville will seek a 6.7 percent increase, from 2,298 degrees in 2008 to 2,451 in 2009-10, again a pace strong enough to exceed its 2020 goal of 3,043.

Here’s my summary chart, with 2008 graduates and 2010 goals from taken from tomorrow’s meeting materials on key indicators (here) and 2020 goals from the Double the Numbers plan (here). I’ve added my own calculation of the resulting two-year rate of change, projection of the 2020 results of continuing that pace, and how that compares to the 2020 goals.

NKU also deserves note for aiming for a 10.3 percent increase. That’s faster growth than any school except Morehead, and, if continued, that pace will leave NKU just 84 degrees short in 2020.

Other public institutions are planning slower growth for the coming year, on trajectories that will leave them far short in 2020 unless they accelerate in the years ahead:
  • UK: 3.3 percent planned growth could mean a gap of 1,759 degrees in 2020.
  • KSU: 2.5 percent growth could mean a gap of 273 degrees.
  • EKU: 2.0 percent growth could mean a 2020 gap of 1,115 degrees.
  • Murray: 1.1 percent growth cold mean a gap of 1,091 degrees.
  • WKU: 0.4 percent growth could mean a gap of 1,878 degrees.
Statewide, those goals amount to a two-year bachelor's degree increase of 4.3 percent, from 15,036 in 2008 to 15,677 in 2010. Continuing at that rate through 2020 will mean a 5,757 degree shortfall.

It’s certainly possible to make up that gap with faster growth in future years, and I hope CPE members will ask each school how it plans to make that happen.

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