2020 February e-News

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

January and February Annual Visits to Five of MHEC Member States Complete

Since late January, Susan Heegaard, MHEC president, and Rob Trembath, chief operating officer and general counsel, have met with state higher education, legislative, and executive branch leadership in Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, and Nebraska. Each visit involves individual meetings as well as a dinner with each state’s MHEC commissioners, policymakers, and higher education leaders. President Heegaard has also presented to multiple legislative committees and MHEC executive officers have joined the visits when possible. The next visit will be to South Dakota this week and Indiana next week, and visits to the rest of the states will begin again in March. Photo highlights follow below, with more photos posted to MHEC's Facebook page.



Three Upcoming Webinars Opportunities Address OER, Certifications, and Accessibility

February 18, 1:00 p.m. CT (Today!) Creating OER: An Introduction and Overview of Rebus Get introduced to Rebus, a non-profit service organization that supports faculty and others who are developing and creating new Open Educational Resources (OER).

February 20, 1:00 p.m. CT Veterans Without Degrees: The Benefits and Opportunities of Certifications MHEC's Multi-State Collaborative on Military Credit (MCMC) welcomes researchers from the Strada Education Network to discuss their report "Veterans without Degrees: The Benefits and Opportunities of Certificates and Certifications."

March 17, 1:00 p.m. CT From a Culture of Accommodation to a Culture of Accessibility - the Wichita State Story MHEC will welcome Wichita State University to share their experience addressing institutional accessibility.


MHEC Presents at Minnesota's NC-SARA Day The Minnesota Office of Higher Education (MOHE) is hosting NC-SARA Day, today. Attendees include participating institutions of the Midwestern-State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement from Minnesota. Susan Heegaard, MHEC president, along with Emily Jacobson, associate director of M-SARA, presented during the day's discussions. Additional presenters included Lori Williams, NC-SARA president; Marianne Boeke, NC-SARA; Betsy Talbot, MOHE manager of institutional registration and licensing; and Kate McCartan, MOHE institutional monitoring specialist.


Higher Education in Focus 2019  Available for Member States The purpose of Higher Education in Focus 2019 is to provide key performance indicators tailored to MHEC's 12 member states, relevant to the goal of improving educational attainment for a healthy economy and society. Performance indicators are categorized within five areas: Preparation, Participation, Completion, Affordability, and Finance. Several indicators provide the national and MHEC regional values as well as the median of the top five states in the nation as possible benchmarks. Performance indicators are disaggregated by race/ethnicity and family income when data are available. MHEC Seeks Feedback on Interactive Dashboard In December, MHEC launched an interactive dashboard highlighting state higher education related data and is piloting it through March 1. The dashboard provides data and key performance indicators relevant to the goal of improving educational attainment and economic health in the Midwest region and across the nation. Indicators are organized within seven key areas: Context, Preparation, Participation, Affordability, Completion, Finance, and Benefits. Subcategories are provided where possible, disaggregating data, and highlighting opportunity and achievement gaps by income, race, and ethnicity. Data can be examined over time or compared across states using various benchmarks, including the U.S. average as well as the median of the top five performing states in the nation as an aspirational benchmark.

MHEC welcomes feedback from stakeholders in order to improve this tool.

MHEC Research Conducted to Assist Illinois in Meeting Attainment Goals MHEC is working with the Illinois P-20 Council, as well as the Illinois Board of Higher Education, and the Illinois Community College Board to develop state-level projections of postsecondary enrollment, completion, and attainment for diverse racial and ethnic groups. Projections through 2030 will assist educational leaders and policymakers in evaluating progress towards meeting overall attainment and equity goals in Illinois.

For additional information about MHEC's research, please contact Aaron Horn, MHEC associate vice president of research, at (612) 677-2768.


Technology Solicitations Update Virtualization RFP Workgroup Formed

Over the last three months, the Infrastructure Advisory Group has met to discuss the current trends of hyper converged infrastructure and the role of software virtualization in modernizing the data center. With some insight from Info-Tech Research Group's Analyst Fred Chagnon, the advisory group prepared an overview and a draft scope of services for virtualization and data center modernization. This overview defines the business drivers and a proposed data center modernization vision. An RFP workgroup has been formed to conduct a competitive solicitation for Virtualization & Data Center Modernization. The solicitation will be published in March. MHEC's current [contract with Arrow Electronics for VMWare's full line of virtualization software, services, and training runs through November 30. Seeking Research and Advisory Services Workgroup Volunteers The current contract with Info-Tech Research Group is coming to an end on December 31. A solicitation for research and advisory services is planned for this summer. MHEC has prepared a [brief five-minute survey of higher education students, faculty, and staff use of research and advisory service providers. In addition to this important feedback, MHEC will be seeking 5-7 volunteers to participate in the competitive solicitation for research and advisory services. Interest in participation may be expressed in the survey. MHEC will be recruiting subject matter experts in April to form a workgroup. The workgroup will define the proposed research and advisory services, evaluate proposals, and make a recommendation for a service provider.

Responding to Today's Technology Security Challenges with Security Services RFP In today’s world, security has to be at the forefront of all information technology decisions. MHEC’s Security Advisory Group developed a business case of challenges and identified five domains of Security Services that would benefit the Midwest region including: security threat intelligence products and services; security information and event management (SIEM); managed security services; security awareness computer-based training; and security consulting services. To continue addressing these challenges, a Security Services RFP workgroup has been formed to conduct a competitive solicitation this spring. The objective is to evaluate proposed solutions covering each of the five domains of Security Services and make a recommendation to contract with one or more providers. Since it would be challenging to provide expertise on every possible security situation, a MHEC contract for these services will benefit institutions with options to select a provider and solution that best matches institutional needs. For more information on this work contact Deb Kidwell, MHEC consultant.

MHEC is committed to seeking input from the technology community and providing notice regarding upcoming procurement opportunities. Please view MHEC's anticipated upcoming technology solicitations. For more information about participating on a workgroup, contact Nathan Sorensen, MHEC director of government contracts, at (612) 677-2767. View MHEC's Available Contracts


State Visits: Susan Heegaard, president, will visit South Dakota on February 19-20, and Indiana on February 25-26, for the MHEC state visits. She will be joined by Rob Trembath, chief operating officer and general counsel. Ohio is tentatively planned for April 1-2.

Multi-State Collaborative on Military Credit (MCMC): Sara Appel, MCMC manager, will attend the NGA Higher Education Quality Assurance Regional Listening Session on February 20-22. Ms. Appel will also attend the Council of College and Military Educators (CCME) a conference on March 9-12. She will be joined by Emily Jacobson, associate director of M-SARA, who will moderate a session  The Many Places Students May File Complaints on March 11, and Ms. Appel will participate as a panelist.

Technology Contracts: Nathan Sorensen, director of government contracts, will join Midwest institutional representatives at an executive briefing with Dell Technologies on February 26-27. The two-day executive briefing will cover trends and directions in research computing, digital “smart” campuses, esport /gaming, workforce transformation, with focus topics on cloud computing, virtualization, security, data and application integration. Ten institutional representatives from MHEC’s Infrastructure, Leadership, and Security Advisory Groups will attend the briefing. He will also attend the Info-Tech Live Conference on March 3-5, which focuses on improving business and IT alignment.

Master Property Program (MPP): Jennifer Dahlquist, vice president, and Carla Ahrens, property program manager, will host participants of MHEC’s MPP for the Annual All Insured Members Meeting on March 4, followed by the 22nd Annual Loss Control Workshop  on March 5-6. This event was created for the purpose of exchanging best practices and lessons learned in order to minimized campus losses.Workshop participants include not only risk managers but also individuals from facilities, campus security, environmental health and safety, from participating MPP institutions.

Open Educational Resources (OER): Jenny Parks, senior director of policy and academic initiatives, will co-present Open Textbook Repositories: Now that you’ve done it, where should you keep it? on March 6, at the North Dakota University System (NDUS) OER Conference.



Andrew Baumert (alternate) Vice President for Marketing and Outreach, Iowa Association of Independent Colleges and Universities Term: 2/13/2020 to 1/1/2024