MHEC Sets in Motion a New Strategic Framework for the Future

For Immediate Release

May 1, 2020 (Minneapolis, Minn.) – The Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC) is pleased to announce a new strategic framework with four new actionable priorities that build upon MHEC’s current strategic plan. The priorities are:

  • Increase access, promote affordability, and improve outcomes for all of the region’s learners, including the historically underserved;
  • Foster a culture of continuous learning through increasingly aligned educational and workforce systems;
  • Sustain and advance affordable, high-quality educational opportunities through cost-savings initiatives; and
  • Understand and communicate the value of and return on investment in higher education.

“I’m pleased to have this strategic framework in place, especially during these uncertain times," stated Susan Heegaard, MHEC president. "We have worked closely with our commissioners, staff, and other key higher education leaders from across the country to seek their input and feedback to ensure we are providing value to our member states.”

HCM Strategists helped MHEC in developing the plan which built upon an environmental scan conducted in 2019. The current strategic plan highlights three challenges for higher education in Midwestern states: 1) shifting demographics; 2) evolving modes of packaging and delivering education; and 3) declining share of public investment in higher education.

“This vision for MHEC underscores our longstanding goals to collaborate with our states as a strategic partner to increase quality affordable access to higher education, meet compelling needs of diverse student populations, and support new and evolving workforce demands,” said Olivia Madison, MHEC chair (IA). "Our priorities advance an exciting broadened framework that expands upon the Compact’s historic contributions to higher education over the past 29 years.”

MHEC is comprised of member states from the midwestern United States. MHEC works with and for a variety of stakeholders within and across member states, including higher education system leaders, state policymakers, legislators, and institutional leaders, while always maintaining a focus on students and their success.

“As an institutional leader, I appreciate that this allows MHEC to strategically support states and institutions across the Midwest during this unprecedented time of great uncertainty and challenge,” said David Eisler, president of Ferris State University (MI) and MHEC vice chair.

“This framework presents a clear and actionable approach that I welcome as a policymaker,” explained Representative Rick Carfagna (OH) and MHEC treasurer.

VISION: MHEC members collaborate to address the region’s most pressing challenges in higher education and transform educational opportunities so that people and communities thrive.

MISSION: MHEC brings together midwestern states to develop and support best practices, collaborative efforts, and cost-sharing opportunities. Through these efforts it works to ensure strong, equitable postsecondary educational opportunities and outcomes.

HOW MHEC WORKS: MHEC’s strategic approach highlights member states’ strong desire for collaboration, effectiveness, and efficiency. MHEC believes that collaborative actions informed by research and best practices are the catalyst for improving quality, accessibility, relevance, and affordability of postsecondary educational opportunities. MHEC does this primarily through the following approaches: convenings, programs, research, and cost-savings contracts. Increasingly, MHEC looks to leverage these approaches in conjunction with each other to serve its strategic priorities.

MEMBER STATES: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.



Mary Roberson
MHEC Senior Director of Communications and Marketing
(612) 677-2765 direct