May 2018 e-NEWS

Posted: Monday, May 14, 2018 - 12:15

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.


MHEC Announces Cyber Insurance Program

Higher education institutions continue to face significant cyber threats due to the valuable information stored on their networks and the ability for threat actors to use network infrastructure to launch operations against other targets. College and university networks can be difficult for administrators to effectively secure because of their size and the number of users as well as the need for internal and external users to access and share information.
Institutions in the MHEC member states have been asking for a cyber insurance solution which is tailored to deliver the right mix of risk transfer and advisory solutions for institutions to assess, manage, and respond to their risk. Along with MHEC’s Master Property Program administrator, Marsh, MHEC is now able to offer institutions the flexibility of insurance carrier choice, the broadest coverage available, and access to limits that meet institutional coverage needs. The MHEC Cyber Insurance approach analyzes the institution’s threat environment, assesses the significance of the vulnerabilities in security controls, and determines how much financial exposure the institution faces. MHEC’s approach can also provide benchmarking on how much cyber coverage institutions of similar risk are buying.
MHEC will work to build a critical mass of participating institutions to provide a potential option of risk sharing in an excess layer of coverage. This shared excess layer would afford additional coverage at a reduced cost versus an institution securing coverage on a stand-alone basis.
Download more information or contact Frank Cella, managing director at Marsh, at (312) 627-6082.



MHEC Renews Contracts for Computers, Printers, and Networking

MHEC has renewed the Dell, HP Enterprise, and HP Inc. contracts for enterprise solutions, computers, printing and networking equipment through June 30, 2019. The one-year renewal has the option for three additional one-year renewals. 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 in 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 on our website or contact  Nathan Sorensen, director of government contracts, with additional questions at (612) 677-2767.



Affordability Series: Child Savings Accounts

The latest research brief in MHEC's affordability series is now available. Children’s Savings Accounts: Increasing the Postsecondary Payoff for Low-Income Children, examines Child Savings Accounts (CSAs) as an approach to financial aid that addresses concerns about access to college, the differential return on a college degree, excessive loan debt, and wealth inequality. Dr. William Elliott, professor at the University of Michigan, and founding director of the Center on Assets, Education, and Inclusion, who authored the brief, highlights CSAs for Maine, Indiana, and Oklahoma and reviews the research on CSAs in the context of early childhood development, college readiness, and college outcomes. Dr. Elliott concludes that “the state provision of larger early assets ($10,500 initial deposit) in CSAs is needed to better address college affordability and improve the return on a degree for disadvantaged students.” Download the research brief. Contact Aaron Horn, director for policy research at (612) 677-2768.



Third Midwest Renewable Electricity Workshop to be Held at Case Western University

On June 5, MHEC will continue its exploration into the feasibility of an energy sustainability initiative. MHEC is co-hosting a third renewable electricity workshop at Case Western University. The workshop will be led by Second Nature and will be focused on how institutions can join together on large-scale renewable electricity purchasing; aggregating demand across institutions to achieve economic and environmental goals. In attendance will be college and university staff responsible for sustainability and energy procurement. Please register and plan to join MHEC for these discussions! 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 Second Nature, MHEC is collaborating with The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), and a group of higher education institutions. For additional information about the workshops or this effort, please contact Jennifer Dahlquist, vice president, at 612-677-2762.


MCMC 2018 Annual Meeting Recap

On May 3-4, the Multi-State Collaborative on Military Credit (MCMC) hosted over 60 representatives from across the Midwest and welcomed guests from other regions for their annual meeting to generate ideas, analyze the goals from the grant period, exchange information, develop relationships, discuss goals for next steps of the MCMC, and to learn from colleagues who are active on the national scene. One of the meeting highlights included a moderated panel of student veterans who discussed their challenges and successes in navigating postsecondary education. Presentations available have been posted to the MHEC website.
Please contact Sara Appel, MCMC manager, at (765) 586-6512 to learn more about the meeting or with any additional questions.


May 16: Midwestern Concurrent Enrollment Teacher Credential Summit
June 3-4: MHEC Executive Committee Meeting
June 5: Large-Scale Renewable Electricity Workshop at Case Western Reserve University (OH)



Commissioner Appointments

Richard Short (KS) was reappointed on April 30, and serves at the pleasure of Governor Jeff Colyer.
Brian Whiston (MI) passed away on May 7. He was the Michigan state superintendent and began serving as a MHEC commissioner alternate on September 22, 2015, until his death.
Ken Sauer (IN) recently accepted an award on behalf of the Indiana Commission for Higher Education for 1st place for PESC's 19th Annual Best Practices Competition 2018 for "One State, Two Initiatives: Indiana's Embrace of e-Transcripts and Credential Engine." The e-Transcripts component was part of MHEC's e-transcript initiative and leveraged through MHEC's Parchment contract.

MHEC Team Updates

MHEC welcomes Daniel Moser, chief financial officer, to the MHEC staff. He brings 13 years of senior accounting and financial management experience to the organization.

MHEC bid farewell to Pam Schutt, who served as MHEC’s director of state relations for 15 years. She is happily enjoying retirement.
Rob Trembath, vice president and general counsel, along with Erin Hazen from the University of Iowa, co-presented at the Big Ten and Friends Utilities Conference on the changing market for large scale renewable energy projects and how, by aggregating together, institutions can achieve the scale and pricing that once only utilities and other large corporations were able to obtain. 

Jenny Parks, director of innovation, presented to a meeting of the chief academic officers for the Kansas Independent College Association on concurrent enrollment teacher credentialing on April 19.
Nathan Sorensen, director of government contracts, presented on the challenges in software licensing in education, at the annual National Association of Education Procurement (NAEP) conference on April 11. Sorensen co-presented at the Minnesota State IT Conference 2018
with Technologies Committee member Jennell Flodquist, ITS Contract and Purchasing Administrator for Minnesota State. Campus participants learned about the benefits Minnesota State has received through using MHEC technology contracts, an overview of the available MHEC technology contracts, and how to benefit from leveraging the pre-negotiated contracts and software licensing.

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.