Commissioners celebrate 25 years at annual meeting
Commissioners celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Midwestern Higher Education Compact during the annual commission meeting in St. Louis on November 14-15. Presiding over the meeting was Chair David Pearce, Missouri state senator. Senator Pearce, who is term-limited, was also recognized during the meeting for his service as a MHEC commissioner and his term as chair. Chair Pearce also served as the Compact’s vice chair (2014-15), and a term as treasurer (2013-14).
By a unanimous vote, commissioners approved a resolution to be sent to the U.S. Secretary of Education John King, Under Secretary Ted Mitchell, and
MHEC member states' governors and congressional delegations, as well as newly elected governors and congressional delegations that addressed proposed rules on distance education.
Mr. Dan Darbandi, MHEC operations coordinator, provided a historical presentation about the Compact’s past 25 years. Mr. Larry Isaak, MHEC president, then moderated a panel of honored guests who provided a personal perspective of the Compact’s early years. The panelists included: Dr. David Murphy, MHEC’s founding president; Dr. William Sederburg, founding MHEC commission chair; Former Kansas Senator Lana Oleen, former MHEC commission chair and MHEC interim president; and Former Minnesota Senator Roger Moe, 1989 chair of Midwestern Legislative Conference of the Council of State Governments Midwest.
The featured Missouri presentation highlighted the successes of the Missouri Innovation Campus. Dr. Charles Ambrose, president of the University of Central Missouri, was joined by his colleagues: Ms. Elaine Metcalf, director of the Summit Technology Academy in the Lee's Summit R-7 School District, and Mr. Stan Elliott, director of the Missouri Innovation Campus. In this best practice example, they identified the program's critical needs, benefits to the students, and the collaboration between all parties involved.
Mr. Mike McCabe, director of the Midwestern office of The Council of State Governments provided the "Midwest Regional Roundup" including a 2016 session top ten highlights, a current economic and fiscal picture given the 2016 election results, and a 2017 legislative session preview. Dr. Tom Harnisch, director of State Relations and Policy Analysis for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, provided a summary of current federal issues as well as key issues in higher education for 2017.
On Tuesday, this year’s policy forum examined key factors affecting college affordability in the Midwest. Through informative and provocative presentations, participants learned about cost drivers in postsecondary education, the state and federal context of higher education finance, and characteristics of effective financial aid systems.
Upon conclusion of the meeting, Sen. Pearce handed over the gavel to Mr. Richard Short, Kansas governor designee, who assumed the position of commission chair for MHEC after being elected last fall and serving a term as vice chair (2015-16), and a term as treasurer (2014-15).
Senator Tim Flakoll, North Dakota Legislative Assembly; and Dr. Ken Sauer, senior associate commissioner and chief academic officer for the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, were elected vice chair and treasurer, respectively.
All available presentations have been posted to the MHEC website. For more images from the meetings view them on MHEC's Facebook and Flickr.
Sirotkin and Outstanding Service Award recipients honored
During the annual commission meeting on Monday, November 14, Senator Sheila Harsdorf (WI) was acknowledged with the Phillip Sirotkin Award for exemplary leadership in advancing Midwestern higher education through interstate cooperation. Senator Harsdorf was first appointed to the commission in 2003 and again in 2011, 2013, and 2015. She served as MHEC chair from 2013-14. Patricia “P.J.” Kale, an advisory committee member of MHEC's property insurance program the Master Property Program (MPP) - was recognized with MHEC's Outstanding Service Award. Ms. Kale, who is the executive director for the Office of Risk Management at the University of Illinois, has served on the MPP Leadership Committee for fourteen years and chaired multiple committees. The MPP now insures over $92 billion in insured values saved MHEC member states over $5 million in FY16. The premier property insurance program has served institutions across the region since 1994.
Additionally, Wisconsin commissioners were acknowledged as the eleventh state to join the Midwestern-State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement with a plaque recognizing the portal agent, the Distance Learning Authorization Board.
MHEC renews contract for virtualization software
MHEC has renewed the ARROW Electronics contract for the full-line of VMware’s virtualization software, services, and training through November 30, 2017. ARROW Electronics was awarded a competitively bid contract in December of 2013. The one-year renewal, with the option for three additional one-year renewals, extends the agreed upon discounts to all eligible MHEC member states. Eligible entities in the MHEC region include colleges, universities, K‐12 districts and schools, cities, states and local government. The contract is also available to these same entities of MHEC's sister compacts, the Southern Regional Education Board and the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. For more information about this contract or others, contact Nathan Sorensen, strategic IT procurement officer, at 612-677-2767.
[Webinar Posted] Learn from Indiana's MCMC progress
Recently, representatives of the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, Vincennes University, Ivy Tech Community College, and Indiana Tech shared progress on Indiana's Multi-State Collaborative for Military Credit (MCMC) initiative during the webinar Supporting Hoosier Veterans: A look at military credit in Indiana. The webcast has been posted.
MHEC in the News
Short named chairman of regional higher education compact | Salina Journal | November 17, 2016
Student-Veteran Success Begins With These Three Steps | Completion with a Purpose | November 11, 2016
Turning Military Student Data Into Actionable Information | Association for Institutional Research (AIR) | November 10, 2016
Online Guide Helps Military-connected Navigate Higher Ed’s Path to Success | Diverse Issues in Higher Education | October 20, 2016
Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at the
Midwestern Higher Education Compact!
MHEC's Strategic Priorities
- Expand postsecondary opportunity and success.
- Promote innovative approaches to improving institutional and system productivity.
- Improve affordability to students and states.
- Enhance connectivity between higher education and the workplace.