Larry Isaak served as president of the Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC) from November 2003 to November 2010 and was re-appointed in April 2011. Isaak has helped lead a significant expansion in MHEC activities related to student access and success, policy research, and cost savings initiatives.
MHEC’s cost savings programs have expanded rapidly – saving states, institutions, and local governments over $33 million annually in FY 2012. At the same time, the MHEC student exchange program expanded to include additional states, saving students nearly $20 million annually in tuition.Together MHEC's cost savings programs and student exchange program have saved nearly $550 million since 1991. Also, a MHEC electronic transcript program has been implemented to simplify and ease transfer of high school and college student transcripts. MHEC is actively engaged in a number of policy initiatives, including: preparing annual reports on a number of higher education performance indicators for each of the MHEC states; holding annual policy summits; and working with many other national and regional organizations through partnerships and grants. Isaak’s leadership highlights MHEC’s mission of advancing education through collaboration and resource sharing through MHEC’sconvening of educators, policymakers, and other leaders in ways that foster and promote interstate and inter-sector dialogue, problem-solving and cost savings.
Previously, Isaak was the chancellor of the North Dakota University System for nearly ten years and was named chancellor emeritus upon his departure in October 2003. Isaak is credited with guiding collaborative leadership efforts transforming the North Dakota University System through the North Dakota Higher Education Roundtable, proclaimed as a national model for collaborative leadership. Prior to being named chancellor, he served as vice chancellor for administrative and student affairs from 1984 to 1994.
Isaak also worked in the North Dakota Office of Management and Budget, serving both as acting director and as the state executive budget analyst. He also served as the assistant legislative budget analyst and auditor for the North Dakota Legislative Council. Prior to serving state government, he was employed with a private CPA firm.
Isaak has served as chair of the State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO) and as a commissioner to both the Midwestern Higher Education Compact and the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education.
Isaak, a certified public accountant, received both his master's degree and his bachelor of science degree in business administration from the University of North Dakota. He also completed the program at the Stanford University Business Management Institute.