February 2018 e-NEWS

Posted: Friday, February 16, 2018 - 08:18

Collectively, the Midwestern Higher Education Compact creates solutions that build higher education’s capacity to better serve individuals, institutions, and states by leveraging the region’s expertise, ideas, and experiences through multi-state: convening, programs, research, and contracts. These efforts drive the organization’s outcomes.


Midwestern Affordability Series: New Research Brief Available

The latest research brief in MHEC's affordability series is now available. Understanding State Loan Forgiveness and Conditional Grant Programs, examines state aid programs that link student loans and grants with service and work requirements in high-need areas. Dr. Mark Wiederspan, assistant professor at Arizona State University who authored the brief, highlights the attributes of these programs and provides a 50-state description of their prevalence. Nearly 80% of service-contingent aid programs target teaching and healthcare occupations, though less than 5% of state financial aid budgets supported these types of programs. Dr. Wiederspan concludes that “studies on service-contingent programs find that these programs do help in recruiting individuals to work in high-need areas.” Download the research brief.


MHEC Signs Agreement with Oracle America, Inc.

MHEC conducted a competitive sourcing event for hardware and administrative systems and awarded a contract to Oracle America Inc. for discounts on Oracle's: programs, software update license and support, hardware, hardware and systems support, training, consulting services, cloud services, and managed cloud services. The MHEC’s agreement effective date is February 5, 2018, through February 5, 2021, with the option to renew for four additional one‐year renewals. The agreed upon discounts are available to all eligible MHEC member states. Eligible entities include public and not-for-profit colleges and universities. The contract is also available to these same entities of MHEC's sister compacts: the New England Board of Higher Education, the Southern Regional Education Board, and the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. Additional contract details and eligibility can be found on the MHECtech website, or contact Nathan Sorensen, director of government contracts, at (612) 677-2767.

MHEC Renews Contract for e-transcript and Creative Software

MHEC has renewed the Parchment contract for e-transcript services through January 28, 2019. The one-year renewal has the option for two additional one-year renewals. In addition to Parchment Send and Parchment Receive services, the offering now includes new services and access to Parchment’s Digital Credentials Program. Eligible entities in the MHEC region include colleges, universities, and K‐12 districts and schools. MHEC has also renewed the Corel Software contract for creative software offerings in design, print, media, and web through February 1, 2019. The one-year renewal, has the option for two additional one-year terms. Eligible entities in the MHEC region include colleges, universities, K‐12 districts and schools, cities, states and local government. These contracts are also available to eligible entities of MHEC's sister compacts: the New England Board of Higher Education, the Southern Regional Education Board, and the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. Access the list of available contracts, or for more information contact Nathan Sorensen, director of government contracts, at 612-677-2767.


MHECare provides health insurance to nearly 33,000 students nationwide

MHECare, the student health collaborative, provides member institutions access to sustainable student health insurance solutions. MHEC’s contract with national underwriter UnitedHealthcare StudentResources (UHCSR) offers fully-underwritten traditional student insurance plans for campuses. Institutions can leverage MHEC’s contract with UHCSR directly or through a broker. During the 2017/18 academic year, 32,810 students received health insurance benefits through MHEC’s program with UHCSR. The advantages of student health insurance plans make them an affordable, quality alternative to more expensive, traditional plans for full-time, part-time, international, and graduate students. Visit MHEC's website for more information about MHECare - MHEC’s student health insurance options - visit or contact Jennifer Dahlquist, vice president, at 612-677-2762.


State Visits

President Larry Isaak along with MHEC Chair Tim Flakoll, Vice President and General Counsel Rob Trembath and Vice President  Jennifer Dahlquist completed state visits in Kansas, South Dakota, Missouri, Iowa, Indiana, and Wisconsin. They will be visiting Nebraska on February 21. MHEC's 2017 Higher Education in Focus is shared and each state's progress and participation in convenings, programs, research, and contracts is also being addressed.

Second Midwest Renewable Electricity Workshop to be Held at Loyola University

Next Wednesday, MHEC will continue exploration and the feasibility of an energy sustainability initiative. MHEC will co-host a second renewable electricty workshop on February 21; limited seats remain. The workshop will be led by Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) and focused on how institutions can join together on large-scale renewable energy purchases and aggregate demand across institutions in order to achieve their economic and environmental goals. In attendance will be college and university staff responsible for sustainability and energy procurement. MHEC is planning additional similar workshops in other cities within the Midwest as institutions look for ways to lower their energy procurement costs while achieving set renewable energy goals. Many campuses are still challenged to meet these goals due to cost and complexity, and MHEC looks to establish an energy initiative incorporating these institutional goals. In addition to AASHE, MHEC is collaborating with Second Nature, and a group of higher education institutions. For additional information about the workshops or this effort, please contact Rob Trembath, vice president and general counsel, at 612-677-2763, or Aaron Horn, director for policy research, at 612-677-2768.


February 15: NASPA Poster Session
February 20: [WEBINAR] State Approving Agencies? What's that?
February 21: Large-Scale Renewable Electricity Workshop
February 21: Nebraska State Visit
February 28-March 2: Technologies Committee Annual Meeting
March 7-9: 20th Annual Loss Control Workshop
May 3-4: MCMC Annual Meeting
March 14: [WEBINAR] Let COOL be your compass: Mapping military occupations to civilian credentials



Commissioner Appointments

Welcome new commissioner Deborah A. Frison (NE), who serves as vice chair of Nebraska's Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education. MHEC also welcomes Sean P. Nelson (WI), vice president of finance for the University of Wisconsin System, as a commissioner alternate.

MHEC Team Updates

This evening Sara Appel, MHEC Multi-State Collaborative on Military Credit (MCMC) Manager, will be part of a poster session at the 2018 NASPA Symposium on Military-Connected Students. She will be joined by representatives of MHEC's MCMC Knowledge Communities from Minnesota, Michigan, and Iowa.

MHEC's Strategic Themes

The 2017-2021 MHEC Strategic Plan calls for the Compact to focus its efforts around four themes:
1.    Shifting demographics - changing composition of the student body;
2.    Evolving modes of packaging and delivering education;
3.    Declining share of public investment in higher education; and
4.    Desire for collaboration beyond the institution.