Illinois - Chapter 45 ILCS 155 Indiana - Chapter IC 21-28-3-3 Iowa - Chapter 261D
Kansas - Chapter 74-32,264 Michigan - Section 390.1531 Minnesota - Section 135A.20
Missouri - Section 173.700 Nebraska - Section 85-1301 North Dakota - Chapter 15-10.5
Ohio - Chapter 3333.40 South Dakota - Chapter 13-53C-1 Wisconsin - Chapter 14.90
The Midwestern Regional Higher Education
Entered into by and between the States signatory hereto, to advance higher education through interstate cooperation to meet the needs of the Midwestern Region of the United States of America.
ARTICLE I. PURPOSE
The purpose of the Midwestern Higher Education Compact shall be 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 this Compact.
ARTICLE II. THE COMMISSION
The compacting states hereby create the Midwestern Higher Education Commission, hereinafter called the Commission. The Commission shall be a body corporate of each compacting state. The Commission shall have all the responsibilities, powers and duties set forth herein, including the power to sue and be sued, and such additional powers as may be conferred upon it by subsequent action of the respective legislatures of the compacting states in accordance with the terms of this Compact.
The Commission shall consist of five resident members of each state as follows: the governor or the governor's designee who shall serve during the tenure of office of the governor; two legislators, one from each house (except Nebraska, which may appoint two legislators from its Unicameral Legislature), who shall serve two-year terms and be appointed by the appropriate appointing authority in each house of the legislature; and two other at-large members, at least one of whom shall be selected from the field of higher education. The at-large members shall be appointed in a manner provided by the laws of the appointing state. One of the two at-large members initially appointed in each state shall serve a two-year term. The other, and any regularly appointed successor to either at-large member, shall serve a four-year term. All vacancies shall be filled in accordance with the laws of the appointed states. Any commissioner appointed to fill a vacancy shall serve until the end of the incomplete term.
The Commission shall select annually, from among its members, a chairperson, a vice chairperson and a treasurer.
The Commission shall appoint an executive director who shall serve at its pleasure and who shall act as secretary to the Commission. The treasurer, the executive director and such other personnel as the Commission may determine, shall be bonded in such amounts as the Commission may require.
The Commission shall meet at least once each calendar year. The chairperson may call additional meetings and upon the request of a majority of the Commission members of three or more compacting states, shall call additional meetings. Public notice shall be given of all meetings and meetings shall be open to the public.
Each compacting state represented at any meeting of the Commission is entitled to one vote. A majority of the compacting states shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, unless a larger quorum is required by the bylaws of the Commission.
ARTICLE III. POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE COMMISSION
The Commission shall adopt a seal and suitable bylaws governing its management and operations.
Irrespective of the civil service, personnel or other merit system laws of any of the compacting states, the Commission in its bylaws shall provide for the personnel policies and programs of the Compact.
The Commission shall submit a budget to the governor and legislature of each compacting state at such time and for such period as may be required. The budget shall contain specific recommendations of the amount or amounts to be appropriated by each of the compacting states.
The Commission shall report annually to the legislatures and governors of the compacting states, to the Midwestern Governors' Conference and to the Midwestern Legislative Conference of the Council of State Governments concerning the activities of the Commission during the preceding year. Such reports shall also embody any recommendations that may have been adopted by the Commission.
The Commission may borrow, accept, or contract for the services of personnel from any state or the United States or any subdivision or agency, from any interstate agency, or from any institution, foundation, person, firm or corporation.
The Commission may accept for any of its purposes and functions under the Compact any and all donations and grants of money, equipment, supplies, materials and services (conditional or otherwise) from any state or the United States or any subdivision or agency thereof, or interstate agency, or from any institution, foundation, person, firm, or corporation, and may receive, utilize and dispose of the same.
The Commission may enter into agreements with any other interstate education organizations or agencies and with higher education institutions located in non-member states and with any of the various states of these United States to provide adequate programs and services in higher education for the citizens of the respective compacting states. The Commission shall, after negotiations with interested institutions and inter-state organizations or agencies, determine the cost of providing the programs and services in higher education for use of these agreements.
The Commission may establish and maintain offices, which shall be located within one or more of the compacting states.
The Commission may establish committees and hire staff as it deems necessary for the carrying out of its functions.
The Commission may provide for actual and necessary expenses for attendance of its members at official meetings of the Commission or its designated committees.
ARTICLE IV. ACTIVITIES OF THE COMMISSION
The Commission shall collect data on the long-range effects of the Compact on higher education. By the end of the fourth year from the effective date of the Compact and every two years thereafter, the Commission shall review its accomplishments and make recommendations to the governors and legislatures of the compacting states on the continuance of the compact.
The Commission shall study issues in higher education of particular concern to the Midwestern region. The Commission shall also study the needs for higher education programs and services in the compacting states and the resources for meeting such needs. The Commission shall from time to time prepare reports on such research for presentation to the governors and legislatures of the compacting states and other interested parties. In conducting such studies, the Commission may confer with any national or regional planning body. The Commission may redraft and recommend to the governors and legislatures of the various compacting states suggested legislation dealing with problems of higher education.
The Commission shall study the need for provision of adequate programs and services in higher education, such as undergraduate, graduate or professional student exchanges in the region. If a need for exchange in a field is apparent, the Commission may enter into such agreements with any higher education institution and with any of the compacting states to provide programs and services in higher education for the citizens of the respective compacting states. The Commission shall, after negotiations with interested institutions and the compacting states, determine the costs of providing the programs and services in higher education for use in its agreements. The contracting states shall contribute the funds not otherwise provided, as determined by the Commission, for carrying out the agreements. The Commission may also serve as the administrative and fiscal agent in carrying out agreements for higher education’s programs and services.
The Commission shall serve as a clearinghouse on information regarding higher education activities among institutions and agencies.
In addition to the activities of the Commission previously noted, the
Commission may provide services and research in other areas of regional concern.
ARTICLE V. FINANCE
The monies necessary to finance the general operations of the Commission not otherwise provided for in carrying forth its duties, responsibilities and powers as stated herein shall be appropriated to the Commission by the compacting states, when authorized by the respective legislatures by equal apportionment among the compacting states.
The Commission shall not incur any obligations of any kind prior to the making of appropriations adequate to meet the same; nor shall the Commission pledge the credit of any of the compacting states, except by and with the authority of the compacting state.
The Commission shall keep accurate accounts of all receipts and disbursements. The receipts and disbursements of the Commission shall be subject to the audit and accounting procedures established under its bylaws. However, all receipts and disbursements of funds handled by the Commission shall be audited yearly by a certified or licensed public accountant and the report of the audit shall be included in and become part of the annual report of the Commission.
The accounts of the Commission shall be open at any reasonable time for inspection by duly authorized representatives of the compacting states and persons authorized by the Commission.
ARTICLE VI. ELIGIBLE PARTIES AND ENTRY INTO FORCE
The states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin shall be eligible to become party to this Compact. Additional states will be eligible if approved by a majority of the compacting states.
As to any eligible party state, this Compact shall become effective when its legislature shall have enacted the same into law; provided that it shall not become initially effective until enacted into law by five states prior to the 31st day of December 1995.
Amendments to the Compact shall become effective upon their enactment by the legislatures of all compacting states.
ARTICLE VII. WITHDRAWAL, DEFAULT AND TERMINATION
Any compacting state may withdraw from this Compact by enacting a statute repealing the Compact, but such withdrawal shall not become effective until two years after the enactment of such statute. A withdrawing state shall be liable for any obligations which it may have incurred on account of its party status up to the effective date of withdrawal, except that if the withdrawing state has specifically undertaken or committed itself to any performance of an obligation extending beyond the effective date of withdrawal, it shall remain liable to the extent of such obligation.
If any compacting state shall at any time default in the performance of any of its obligations, assumed or imposed, in accordance with the provisions of this Compact, all rights, privileges and benefits conferred by this Compact or agreements here-under shall be suspended from the effective date of such default as fixed by the Commission, and the Commission shall stipulate the conditions and maximum time for compliance under which the defaulting state may resume its regular status. Unless such default shall be remedied under the stipulations and within the time period set forth by the Commission, this Compact may be terminated with respect to such defaulting state by affirmative vote of a majority of the other member states. Any such defaulting state may be reinstated by performing all acts and obligations as stipulated by the Commission.
ARTICLE VIII. SEVERABILITY AND CONSTRUCTION
The provisions of this Compact entered into hereunder shall be severable and if any phrase, clause, sentence or provision of this compact is declared to be contrary to the constitution of any compacting state or of the United States or the applicability thereof to any government, agency, person or circumstance is held invalid, the validity of the remainder of this Compact and the applicability thereof to any government, agency, person or circumstance shall not be affected thereby. If this Compact entered into hereunder shall be held contrary to the constitution of any compacting state, the Compact shall remain in full force and effect as to the remaining states and in full force and effect as to the state affected as to all severable matters. The provisions of this Compact entered into pursuant hereto shall be liberally construed to effectuate the purposes thereof.
This compact is now in full force and effect, having been approved by the governors and legislatures of more than five of the eligible states.
- State of Illinois - By Jim Edgar August 20, 1991
- State of Indiana - By Evan Bayh - March 14, 1996
- State of Iowa - By Tom Vilsack - June 6, 2005
- State of Kansas - By Michael Hayden - April 25, 1990
- State of Michigan - By James A. Blanchard - July 24, 1990
- State of Minnesota - By Rudolph Perpich - April 26, 1990
- State of Missouri - By John D. Ashcroft - May 9, 1990
- State of Nebraska - By Ben Nelson - June 5, 1991
- State of North Dakota - By Edward T. Schafer - April 22, 1999
- State of Ohio - By Richard F. Celeste - January 9, 1991
- State of South Dakota - By Mike Rounds - March 13, 2008
- State of Wisconsin - By Tommy Thompson - April 18, 1994
Midwestern Higher Education Commission
Article I. Commission Purpose, Functions and Bylaws
Section 1. Purpose.
Pursuant to the terms of the Midwestern Higher Education Compact (hereinafter referred to as "the compact"), the Midwestern Higher Education Commission (hereinafter referred to as "the commission") is established to fulfill the objectives of the compact, including the development and promotion within the compacting states, of new and more efficient opportunities in higher education.
Section 2. Functions.
In pursuit of the fundamental objectives set forth in the compact, the commission shall, as necessary or required, exercise all of the powers and fulfill all of the duties delegated to it by the compacting states. The commission's activities shall include the preparation of reports, studies and recommendations, the provision of information and consulting services, the facilitation of resource sharing and exchanges, and the promotion and implementation of other initiatives related to the improvement of higher education in the compacting states, as provided by the compact, or as determined by the commission to be warranted by, and consistent with, the objectives and provisions of the compact.
The president (referred to as executive director in the compact statute) serves as the commission’s principal administrator.
Section 3. Bylaws.
As required by the compact, these bylaws shall govern the management and operations of the commission. As adopted and subsequently amended, these bylaws shall remain at all times subject to, and limited by, the terms of the compact.
Article II. Membership
Section 1. Commission Members.
The commission membership shall be comprised as provided in the compact. The appointing authorities in each of the compacting states shall forward the names of their appointees to the commission chair. After verifying compliance with the compact provisions governing commission appointments, the commission chair shall promptly acknowledge the receipt of all qualified appointments by letter to both the appropriate appointing authorities and the designated appointees. The commission chair shall promptly advise the appropriate appointing authorities of the need to appoint new commission members upon the expiration of designated terms of the occurrence of mid-term vacancies.
Section 2. Affiliate Members.
States not eligible to become a party to the compact and/or Canadian Provinces may become affiliate members of the commission when mutual interests exist and when it would benefit the compact to enter into such arrangements. Such other states and/or Canadian Provinces may be afforded status as affiliate members to the commission in accordance with policies and procedures approved by the commission.
The compact legislation must be approved by affiliate member states or provinces prior to being afforded affiliate member status.
Section 3. Associate Members.
Entities not eligible to become members of the compact may be afforded status as associate members of the commission in accordance with the policies and procedures approved by the commission.
Section 4. Compact Participation in MHEC Programs.
For the 12 states identified in Article VI of the MHEC compact statute, the MHEC compact statute must remain in effect in order for those states to participate in MHEC programs and services
Article III. Officers
Section 1. Election and Succession.
As provided by the compact, the officers of the commission shall include a chair, vice chair, past chair, and a treasurer, all of whom shall be duly appointed commission members.
Officers shall be elected by the commission at any meeting at which a quorum is present. The chair, vice chair and treasurer shall serve one-year terms or until their successors are elected by the commission. The vice chair shall succeed to the office of chair upon completion of the chairperson’s term of office.
Section 2. Duties.
The four officers shall perform all duties of their respective offices as provided by the compact and these bylaws. Such duties shall include, but are not limited to, the following:
a. Chair. The chair shall call and preside at all meetings of the commission, shall prepare agendas for such meetings, shall make appointments to all committees of the commission, and, in accordance with the commission's directions, or subject to ratification by the commission, shall act on the commission's behalf during the interims between commission meetings.
b. Vice Chair. The vice chair shall, in the absence or at the direction of the chair, perform any or all of the duties of the chair. In the event of a vacancy in the office of chair, the vice chair shall serve as acting chair until a new chair is elected by the commission.
c. Treasurer. The treasurer, with the assistance of the commission's president, shall act as custodian of all commission funds and shall be responsible for monitoring the administration of all fiscal policies and procedures set forth in the compact or adopted by the commission. Pursuant to the compact, the treasurer shall execute such bond as may be required by the commission covering the treasurer, the president and any other officers, commission members and commission personnel, as determined by the commission, who may be responsible for the receipt, disbursement, or management of commission funds.
d. Past Chair. Commencing upon completion of the term of office of chair, the past chair, if still a duly appointed commissioner, shall serve one year in the position of past chair. The past chair shall, in the absence or at the discretion of the chair and vice chair, perform any or all of the duties of the chair. In the event of a vacancy in the office of the chair and vice chair, the past chair shall serve as acting chair until a new chair or vice chair is elected by the commission.
Article IV. Commission Personnel
Section 1. Commission Staff and Offices
The commission shall appoint a president, who shall serve at its pleasure and who shall act as chief executive officer and secretary to the commission. The president shall hire and supervise such other staff as may be authorized by the commission. The president shall establish and manage the commission's office or offices, which shall be located in one or more of the compacting states as determined by the commission.
Section 2. Duties of the President.
The president serves as the commission’s principal administrator and secretary.
1. Principal Administrator. As the commission's principal administrator, the president shall perform such duties as may be delegated by the commission or required by the compact and these bylaws, including, but not limited to, the following:
a. Recommend general policies and program initiatives for the commission's consideration.
b. Recommend for the commission's consideration administrative and personnel policies governing the recruitment, hiring, management, compensation and dismissal of commission staff.
c. Implement and monitor the administration of all policies and program initiatives adopted by the commission.
d. Prepare draft annual budgets for the commission's consideration.
e. Monitor all commission expenditures for compliance with approved budgets and maintain accurate records of account.
f. Assist commission members as directed in securing required appropriations from the compacting states;
g. Execute contracts on behalf of the commission as directed.
h. Receive service of process on behalf of the commission.
i. Prepare and disseminate all required reports and notices as directed by the commission.
2. Secretary. As the commission’s secretary, the president shall keep minutes of all commission and executive committee meetings and shall act as the custodian of all documents and records pertaining to the status of the compact and business of the commission.
Section 3. Policy and Programmatic Committees.
In functioning as the commission’s principal administrator, the president may establish committees to help explore and implement commission policies and program initiatives. The president shall appoint the members of the committees and shall determine the composition, procedures, duties, budget and tenure of such committees.
At the discretion of the president, the positions of chair and vice chair may be established for each committee. If a chair and vice chair is established, the president shall appoint the chair and vice chair following nominations from members of the respective committees. The term of office for the chair and vice chair shall be two years. The vice chair shall succeed the chair upon the expiration of the chair’s term. The chair and vice chair shall serve at the pleasure of the president. The duties of the chair and vice chair shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
a. Chair: The chair shall call and preside at all meetings of the committee, shall prepare agendas for such meetings, and in accordance with the committee’s directions and subject to the president’s approval, shall act on the committee’s behalf during the interim between committee meetings.
b. Vice Chair: The vice chair shall, in the absence or at the direction of the chair, perform any or all of the duties of the chair. In the event of a vacancy in the office of the chair, the vice chair shall serve as acting chair until the president appoints a new chair.
Article V. Meetings of the Commission.
Section 1. Meetings and Notice.
The commission shall meet at least once each calendar year at a time and place to be determined by the commission. Additional meetings may be scheduled at the discretion of the chair and must be called upon the request of a qualified number of commission members, as provided in the compact. All commission members shall be given written notice of commission meetings at least 30 days prior to their scheduled dates.
Final agendas shall be provided to all commission members no later than 10 days prior to any meeting of the commission. Thereafter, additional agenda items requiring commission action may not be added to the final agenda, except by a vote of the commission in which two-thirds of the compacting states vote aye. All commission meetings, except executive sessions limited to personnel matters, shall be open to the public and prior public notice shall be provided in a manner consistent with the customs and practices of the compacting states.
Section 2. Quorum.
Commission members representing a majority of the compacting states and affiliate members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, except as otherwise required in these bylaws. The presence of one or more commission members from a compacting state is sufficient to constitute the presence of that state for purposes of determining the existence of a quorum, provided the delegation present is entitled to vote on behalf of the state represented. The presence of a quorum must be established before any vote of the commission can be taken.
Section 3. Voting.
Each compacting state represented at any meeting of the commission is entitled to one vote. Fractional voting is prohibited. Each affiliate member represented at any meeting of the commission is entitled to one vote. The commission members representing a single compacting state may, subject to applicable state laws, employ the means of their choice for determining their state's vote.
In the event that a minimum number of commission members is required by a compacting state to be present at a commission meeting in order to vote on behalf of such state, the presence of that number of commission members shall also be required by the commission for purposes of determining the existence of a quorum. Except as otherwise required by the compact or these bylaws, any question submitted to a vote of the commission shall be determined by a simple majority.
Section 4. Procedure.
Matters of parliamentary procedure not covered by these bylaws shall be governed by Robert's Rules of Order.
Article VI. Commission Committees
Section 1. Executive Committee.
The commission shall establish an executive committee, which shall be empowered to act on behalf of the commission during the interims between commission meetings. The composition, procedures, duties, budget, and tenure of such an executive committee shall be determined by the commission, except that each compacting state shall be entitled to equal representation and voting rights on the committee.
Past chairs of the commission that remain duly appointed commission members or that serve as alternate commission members shall serve on the executive committee as ex officio members. The power of such an executive committee to act on behalf of the commission shall at all times be subject to any limitations imposed by the commission, the compact or these bylaws.
Section 2. Finance and Audit Committee.
The Finance and Audit Committee acts as an advisory committee to the commission and is charged with reviewing and providing guidance on all compact financial matters.
Section 3. Other Committees.
The commission may establish such other committees as it deems necessary to carry out its objectives. The composition, procedures, duties, budget and tenure of such committees shall be determined by the commission.
Article VII. Finance
Section 1. Fiscal Year.
The commission's fiscal year shall begin on July 1 and end on June 30.
Section 2. Budget.
The commission shall operate on an annual budget cycle and shall, in any given year, adopt budgets for the following fiscal year or years by such time as may be necessary to allow legislative appropriations from the compacting states to be secured. Commission budgets shall be submitted to the compacting states as required by the compact.
Section 3. Accounting and Audit.
The commission, with the assistance of the president, shall keep accurate and timely accounts of all receipts and disbursements of commission funds. The treasurer, through the president, shall cause the commission's records of account to be audited annually by a certified or licensed public accountant, and, as required by the compact, the report of such audit shall be made a part of the commission's annual report.
Section 4. Debt Limitations.
The commission shall monitor its own and its committees' affairs for compliance with all provisions of the compact and these bylaws governing the incursion of debt and the pledging of credit.
Section 5. Travel Reimbursement.
Subject to the availability of budgeted funds, and unless otherwise provided by the commission, commission members shall be reimbursed for any actual and necessary expenses incurred pursuant to their attendance at all duly convened meetings of the commission or its committees.
Article VIII. Required Reports
In addition to such other reports as may from time to time be required by the compact, these bylaws, or any action of the commission, the commission shall prepare and disseminate the following reports as required by the compact:
a. An annual report documenting the commission's activities during the preceding year and including the annual audit report and any recommendations that may have been adopted by the commission.
b. A biannual compact evaluation report, analyzing the effects of the compact on higher education in the compacting states and including recommendations concerning the continuance of the compact.
Article IX. Adoption and Amendment of Bylaws
Any bylaw may be adopted, amended or repealed by a majority vote of the compacting states, provided that written notice and the full text of the proposed action is provided to all commission members at least 30 days prior to the meeting at which the action is to be considered. Failing the required notice, a two-thirds majority of the compacting states shall be required for such action.
As adopted by the Midwestern Higher Education Commission on March 10, 1991; May 20, 1995; June 20, 2003; November 18, 2004; November 14, 2006; November 14, 2011; June 3, 2019; November 19, 2019, and November 15, 2022.