The Midwestern Higher Education Compact strives to maintain communication with all of its member states. This newsletter provides higher education institutions and agencies timely information about MHEC programs and policy research and analysis.
|June 15, 2009
MHEC Executive Committee discusses college success and career readiness
MHEC's executive committee met in Springfield, Illinois, June 4-5. Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) Executive Director Judy Erwin kicked off the meeting by presenting the IBHE public agenda and offering IBHE's planning for college and career success. Illinois State Senator Edward Maloney and Dr. Elaine Johnson, vice president of Academic Affairs & Workforce Development for the Illinois Community College Board, shared information about the Illinois College and Career Readiness Pilot Program. The executive committee took action on a number of items including approval of MHEC's three-year strategic plan and the FY 2010 budget. Staff provided updates on MHEC programs and services with significant focus given to the MHEC's state "Difficult Dialogues" and the emerging energy and healthcare cost savings initiatives.
MHEC Executive Committee approves action on Closing the Gap model
MHEC's executive committee accepted the proposal from the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS) that builds a model tailored to each MHEC state and identifies scenarios for closing the gap between projected workforce needs and the numbers of college-educated citizens qualified to meet those needs. Lumina Foundation for Education projects this gap to grow to 15 million by 2025. President Obama referenced this gap in his speech to Congress earlier this year.
MHEC asked NCHEMS to develop a proposal to build a model for each MHEC state to predict what would happen to the gap based on different scenarios. For example, what would happen if postsecondary graduation rates were to change by a certain amount? What would happen if high school graduation rates were to change? What would happen if there were changes in postsecondary participation rates of particular segments of the population? What would be the impact of closing participation and completion gaps among different socio-economic groups?
The proposal addresses each state’s demographic changes, the migration of college-educated persons to and among states, and education success patterns of different segments of the population within each of the states. The proposal will deliver the following for each MHEC state:
A summary report, a snapshot of the Midwest, will include common threads in the policy recommendations as well as information that could help MHEC identify programming opportunities.
MHEC endorses SHEEO proposal to the U.S. Secretary of Education
At MHEC's June 4-5 executive committee meeting comissioners endorsed the State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO) May 21, 2009 proposal to the U.S. Secretary of Education to:
The committee also offered MHEC's services to assist the U.S. Department of Education in these efforts. MHEC President Larry Isaak will send this endorsement to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.
MHEC begins partnership with WISCAPE, policy analyst hired
MHEC has launched a new partnership with the Wisconsin Center for Advancement of Postsecondary Education (WISCAPE). After a national search, WISCAPE has chosen Elizabeth Stransky to serve as the center's new policy analyst and liaison to MHEC.
MHEC works with its twelve member states providing policy analysis and research, and the compact also sponsors a variety of programs to reduce costs and to increase student access in the Midwest. The compact serves as a vehicle for information exchange across the region and fosters dialogues about policy and practice between policymakers and postsecondary education leaders.
“MHEC and WISCAPE both work to further public policy analysis and dialogue, so the partnership seemed logical and mutually beneficial,” says WISCAPE Director Noel Radomski. “MHEC has access to institutions, data, and key people, and a keen awareness of the major issues and challenges facing Midwestern postsecondary institutions. We have the resources of a major research institution at our fingertips and the knowledge base of its educational policy experts. Put us together and we enhance the capacity of both of our organizations to conduct applied and translational research aimed at improving public policy and enhancing the public good throughout the region.”
Potential MHEC-WISCAPE projects will include case studies of innovative and effective practices, policies, and collaborations in postsecondary education around the globe that may be shared and applied in the Midwest. Possible areas of study include new higher education finance models, K-16 education alignment, financial aid programs, workforce development strategies involving postsecondary education, curricular reforms, and research collaborations.
“Policy analysis, research, and information exchange will be the focal points of the MHEC-WISCAPE partnership,” says Larry Isaak, president of MHEC. “The relationship with WISCAPE is another example of how MHEC is able to advance higher education through collaboration among institutions and related entities, with the ultimate goal of working toward a stronger, more vibrant Midwest. We’re excited to see what else might be accomplished through working with WISCAPE.” Christopher Rasmussen, MHEC’s vice president for research and policy analysis, served on the search committee for the WISCAPE policy analyst position.
MHEC is already collaborating with WISCAPE and other University of Wisconsin–Madison departments on an upcoming invitational colloquium on June 18-19 entitled “Re-visioning Two-Year Institutions in the Midwest: Examining Policy Challenges, Leading Practices, and Leadership Opportunities.” The event will gather educational leaders, experts, policymakers, and scholars from throughout the region to examine promising new ideas for ensuring that two-year colleges, their communities, and partners are positioned to meet emerging individual and societal needs.
Stransky, who began her appointment on May 18, has worked at WISCAPE as a project assistant since 2004, taking the lead on numerous programs, policy analyses, and research projects. She holds master’s degrees from University of Wisconsin–Madison’s La Follette School of Public Affairs and Department of Educational Policy Studies.
Juniper selected for 12-state purchase contract by MHEC, June 4, 2009
Moira Donovan will be leaving MHEC June 30 to continue to pursue a master's degree in English Rhetoric at St. Cloud State University. This fall she will be tutoring and mentoring English students in the English program. Moira joined MHEC in February 2007 and has been MHEC's administrative assistant.
In the January 2009 MHEC newsletter it was announced that Grant Crawford, CIO for MHEC would be retiring June 30. While he will be leaving MHEC, Grant will continue his work offering his service as MHEC CIO, performing the core functions of the job as a consultant on MHEC's technologies programs.
With Grant and Moira's departures MHEC has done some restructuring. Jennifer Dahlquist will be maintaining her role with student access programs and will take on new responsibilities in the cost savings area as MHEC's assistant vice president for cost savings. Ann Grindland, will maintain her role as senior research associate and will take on new responsibilities as the director of operations.