Ohio Representative Rick Carfagna Elected Chair of Midwestern Higher Education Compact

L to R: Rep. Rick Carfagna (OH) receives the MHEC gavel from Dr. David Eisler (MI), outgoing chair.Ohio State Representative Rick Carfagna was elected chair of the Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC) on November 9, during the Compact’s Annual Commission Meeting, held in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

One of four regional higher education compacts in the United States, 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 for all.

Carfagna was appointed to MHEC in March 2019 and reappointed in January of this year. He also serves on MHEC’s Executive Committee. Also elected were Dr. Devinder Malhotra, chancellor of Minnesota State, who will serve as vice chair, South Dakota Senator V.J. Smith, who will serve as treasurer; and Dr. David Eisler, president of Ferris State University in Michigan, who will serve as past chair.

“I look forward to working with Rep. Carfagna as MHEC’s new chair,” said Susan Heegaard, MHEC president. “As the Assistant Majority Floor Leader for the Ohio House of Representatives, MHEC will continue to benefit greatly from his leadership as we navigate what is next for higher education during times of challenge and opportunity. He will also be instrumental as MHEC implements its new strategic plan and demonstrates its impact and value to policy makers and higher education leaders in our member states.”

“I’m humbled to be named Chair of the Midwestern Higher Education Compact, and pledge to lead the way not just on behalf of Ohio but also for all 12 member states” said Rep. Carfagna. “MHEC leverages the economies of scale across midwestern states to provide significant cost savings on items such as insurance coverage and technology contracts. The Compact also continues to provide invaluable data and research specific to member states and the Midwest region. I’m proud of our work to share best practices and initiate collaboration that improves postsecondary educational and job training opportunities for all, and I look forward to guiding MHEC’s efforts in the coming year.”

State Representative Rick Carfagna is serving his third term in the Ohio House of Representatives. He represents the 68th House District, which includes the eastern half of Delaware County and all of Knox County. As the Assistant Majority Floor Leader on the House leadership team, Rep. Carfagna helps develop and implement the policy agenda for the majority caucus.

MHEC’s states are synonymous with the Midwest census region states and Ohio has been a member since the Compact’s creation in 1991. In addition to Rep. Carfagna, Ohio commissioners are: Gary Cates, senior vice chancellor for Innovation and Enterprise Development at the Ohio Department of Higher Education; Senator Jerry Cirino, vice chair of the Senate Workforce and Higher Education Committee; Mike Duffey, senior vice chancellor for the Ohio Department of Higher Education, Jack Hershey, president of the Ohio Association of Community Colleges; and Serving as commissioner alternate is Bruce Johnson, president of the Inter-University Council of Ohio.

L to R: Rep. Rick Carfagna (OH) receives the MHEC gavel from Dr. David Eisler (MI), outgoing chair.