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Performance Funding in Higher Education: Connecting 40 Years of Policy, Research, & Practice

AHEAD @ Penn
Thursday, June 16, 2022 - 12:00am to Friday, June 17, 2022 - 12:00am
University of Pennsylvania

About the Conference

In 1979, Tennessee became the first state to experiment with performance funding in higher education by tying a portion of state appropriations to outcomes rather than enrollment. In the 40 years that followed, 35 states adopted a form of performance funding, and research on the antecedents, design, and implications of these policies proliferated. Today, reports suggest another 10 states are considering or developing these policies. Despite legislative action, rigorous research, and strong nonprofit advocacy, gaps exist in the conceptualization and understanding of performance funding across states, and recent studies call for greater scholarship and consideration in the areas of access, equity, and transparency.

This research conference, to be held June 16-17, 2022 on the University of Pennsylvania’s campus will serve as a national convening of researchers, policymakers, and practitioners on performance funding and explicitly seeks to bridge these gaps in policy, research, and practice as a theoretically-grounded forum for dialogue and exploration. The conference will convene diverse professional, academic, methodological, and political participants to foster connections and future research collaborations; review, present, and discuss existing research; and identify future directions for studies and policy on performance funding.

See Draft Conference Agenda
Interested in attending? Please RSVP to reserve your seat.

Conference Organizers: Manuel S. González Canché (University of Pennsylvania), Ji Yeon Bae (University of Pennsylvania), Taylor Odle (University of Pennsylvania)

Conference Planning Committee: Laura Perna (University of Pennsylvania), Kate Callahan (Research for Action), Steven Gentile (Tennessee Higher Education Commission), David A. Tandberg (State Higher Education Executive Officers Association) 

This research conference is supported by a grant from the Education Research Conferences Program of the American Educational Research Association (AERA).

Note: The conference will adhere to the latest public health guidance and the guidelines for in-person gatherings set forth by the University of Pennsylvania. Participants can find up-to-date information on the latter at