Errors of Enchantment is still going through the Legislative Finance Committee’s 80-page report on the finances of government-run higher education in New Mexico, but we’re tempted to limit this post to a single sentence: We told you so.
Among other things, LFC staff found that:
* colleges and universities “overprojected enrollment and planned for programs and space assuming significantly more students than actually enrolled”
* while there’s been improvement, here and there, some institutions “have actually become less efficient and are spending excessive amounts on executive management and overhead with little resulting improvement in academic outcomes”
* “the discrepancies in higher education efficiency are the result of a lack of structure and incentives for statewide change”
* the higher-ed funding formula “does not specifically reward or consider efficiencies when allocating annual state appropriations, and current performance-funding levels are too low, and metrics are at risk for abuse”
The LFC is a mixed bag — it regularly accepts the flawed premises of New Mexico’s Big Government lobby, and is not known for suggesting bold, market-driven reforms. But its work on this issue is solid, and should be required reading for lawmakers — and gubernatorial candidates — who claim to be fiscally conservative.