About Us

The Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC), one of four statutorily-created interstate compacts, was founded in 1991 and is a nonprofit regional organization serving Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. The opening statement in the statute enacted into law in the twelve member states of the Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC) states:

The purpose of the Midwestern Higher Education Compact is to provide greater higher education
opportunities and services in the Midwestern region, with the aim of furthering regional access
to, research in and choice of higher education for the citizens residing in the several states which
are parties to the compact.

Consistent with its statutory charge, the Midwestern Higher Education Compact strives to improve access to a wide variety of high-quality postsecondary education programs for all individuals seeking knowledge, skills, and training.

Through collaborative efforts the compact utilizes the collective expertise and influence of policymakers, practitioners, researchers, and other leaders to achieve this objective while maintaining affordability and maximizing return on investment for both students and taxpayers.

Additionally, MHEC aims to help member states leverage postsecondary education institutions and programs as strategic assets in advancing economic and community development and improving quality of life for the region’s citizens. Each member state appoints five individuals to a 60-member governing body of legislators, higher education leaders, and governors’ representatives.

Member state obligations, program fees, and foundation grants finance MHEC activities and support initiatives to increase regional collaboration and achieve outcomes that could not be realized by institutions and systems acting independently.

Current President

Larry Isaak, 2003-Nov. 2010, April 2011-Present

Past Presidents

David Murphy, 1991-2002
Bob Kustra, 2002-2003
Lana Oleen, 2003 (Interim)
Lana Oleen, 2010-2011 (Interim)

Past Commission Chairs

Sen. William Sederburg (MI), 1991-1994
Sen. Sandra Scofield (NE), 1994-1996
Rep. Lyndon Carlson (MN), 1996-1998
Mr. Jerry Blakemore (IL), 1998-2000
Sen. Brian Rude (WI), 2000-2002
Sen. Lana Oleen (KS), 2002-2004
Dr. James H. McCormick (MN), 2004-2005
Sen. Teresa Lubbers (IN), 2005-2006
Dr. William Napier (OH), 2006-2007
Sen. Charlie Shields (MO), 2007-2008
Dr. William Goetz (ND), 2008-2009
Rep. Pam Byrnes (MI), 2009-2010
Mr. Robert N. Downer (IA), 2010-2011
Sen. Jeff Haverly (SD), 2011-2012
Dr. Randolph M. Ferlic (NE), 2012-2013
Sen. Sheila Harsdorf (WI), 2013-2014
Ms. Suzanne Morris (IL), 2014-2015
Sen. David Pearce (MO), 2015-2016
Mr. Richard Short (KS), 2016-2017

View Commissioners