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Results more crucial than enrollment

For Ohio’s 37 public colleges and universities, just getting students through the doors will no longer be enough after Gov. John Kasich has asked institutions to collaborate on rewriting the funding formula in a way that emphasizes results.

The governor announced this concept Tuesday and the schools will work on a plan for the 2014 – 2015 budget. The idea will be to focus more on student successes and a clear path toward strong careers — hopefully here in Ohio — rather than just enrollment.

This is a much needed change and the governor is on point to ask the universities and colleges to lead the way on this reform. That level of tact and diplomacy, often missing from some of Kasich’s other initiatives since taking office, is a big reason why the schools are on board.

“There is no other state that’s undergoing this kind of revolutionary reform in higher education,” said Gordon Gee, president of The Ohio State University. “It has to start with us collaboratively thinking through how we can best, in a time of limited resource, how we can create an environment in which we can be successful together. If we win, we win together. Failure is not an option.”

An incentive for the institutions is that devising a strong plan could pave the way for increase funding opportunities.

Making higher education accessible must always be the first priority but ensuring that students who get there achieve their goals is a fundamental change that will only help make our state and nation stronger.