The Higher Education Funding Commission is composed of legislators, key aides, students, college presidents and members of the boards that oversee technical colleges and universities. The chairmen of the House and Senate higher-education committees will serve as co-chairs of the commission, which will make recommendations to Deal at the end of 2012.
“The work of this commission will help us ensure that taxpayer dollars are being used to boost our No. 1 tool for economic development: a talented, highly educated workforce,” he said.
He noted that 11 percent of the state budget goes to funding higher education.
Deal announced in August that the state had won a $1 million grant funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation focused on college completion. The governor said then that he intended to revise the formulas in state law for the first time in 30 years so that appropriations would encourage schools to raise their graduation rates.
Currently, only 44 percent of students graduate in six years.
The members of the commission are as follows:
Representing the University System of Georgia:
Hank Huckaby, chancellor
Don Leeburn Jr., regent
Philip Wilheit Sr., regent
Bud Peterson, president, Georgia Institute of Technology
Gary McGaha, president, Atlanta Metro College
Ron Core, vice president for business and finance, Georgia Southern University
Sandra Jordan, provost, Georgia College and State University
James Taylor, student, University of Georgia
Kevin Vantrees, student, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College
Representing the Technical College System of Georgia:
Ron Jackson, commissioner
Otis M. Raybon Jr., State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia
Michael Sullivan, State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia
Anthony Parker, president, Albany Technical College
Ray Perren, president, Wiregrass Technical College
Mindy McCannon, vice president of academic affairs, Georgia Northwestern Technical College
David Weldon, vice president of administration, Gwinnett Technical College
Alvie Coles, student, Ogeechee Technical College
Representing the Georgia House of Representatives:
Chairman Terry England, Appropriations Committee
Chairman Len Walker, Higher Education Committee
Chairman Tom Rice, Motor Vehicles Committee
Representing the Georgia Senate:
Chairman Jack Hill, Appropriations Committee
Chairman Buddy Carter, Higher Education Committee
Chairman Johnny Grant, Public Safety Committee
Representing the Business Community:
Chris Klaus, CEO, Kaneva
Alexis Balkum, vice president of learning and development, Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.
Representing the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget:
Debbie Dlugolenski, director, Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget and state chief financial officer