The Dreaded “P” Word

Date of Publication: 
Friday, January 2, 2009

The topic of performance relative to funding (i.e., productivity) is one of the most strained conversations in postsecondary education. Those called on to support the enterprise—policymakers and business leaders—routinely ask productivity-related questions, just as they do of any other public entity that seeks their support. In return, postsecondary education leaders provide well-crafted but often unrelated responses. Understandably, they are trying to avoid the difficult question: Are we productive relative to what?