- How does this affect our funding for the coming year and the following fiscal year?
A: Funding for the 2016-17 fiscal year is not expected to change. As decisions are made about the extent to which universities will continue to contribute to System Office funding and the possibility of state appropriations for the System Office, additional information will become available.
- How will it impact our employees here at the System Office? Will some positions be cut or changed?
A: At this point in time, no. For the current fiscal year, most departures or changes that occur will come through normal attrition. In the future, as efficiency programs are implemented and the System Office more clearly defines its role and structure, organizational changes might occur as needed. It's too early to tell exactly what that may look like.
- How will funding be appropriated to the institutions?
A: The state will continue to fund institutions in the same way - through the funding formula. While the process is not clear for non-formula appropriations for capital projects, THEC will have some involvement in the allocations. Funds will continue to be appropriated through the TBR, then distributed to the institutions.
- How will this impact tuition/fees at the institutions?
A: Each year, THEC will approve a tuition and fee policy regarding undergraduate in-state tuition or maintenance fees that is binding on all state institutions of higher education. The policy will establish a maximum rate of increase for in-state tuition and mandatory fees. Each governing board in the state may adopt tuition and fee adjustments within THEC’s approved rates, but no increase shall exceed the maximum rate approved by THEC. TBR will continue to set tuition and fee rates for the community colleges and TCATs. The university governing boards will set tuition and fees for their respective institutions.
- How will the FOCUS Act impact TN eCampus, in particular those programs that are a collaborative among the six universities?
A: At present there are no plans to modify TN eCampus, although there will likely be discussions about how best to move forward in the future. If changes become necessary at a later date, then arrangements would be made to make the transition as seamless as possible for all involved.
OTHER QUESTIONS TO BE CONSIDERED:
- How will the boards of trustees at the universities be funded, especially the support functions? Will there be a corresponding decrease in the chargeback provided to the TBR System Office?
- How will the fiscal oversight that TBR provides be replaced?
- Will this impact personnel benefits, such as tuition reimbursement for System Office employees or discounts for dependents who enroll in classes at the universities?