Stephanie Davidson Receives Tribute from Midwestern Higher Education Compact
Stephanie Davidson, Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs for the Ohio Department of Higher Education, received the Midwestern Higher Education Compact’s (MHEC) Phillip Sirotkin Award on November 19.
INDIANAPOLIS, IN; MINNEAPOLIS, MN; and COLUMBUS, OH — Stephanie Davidson, Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs for the Ohio Department of Higher Education, received the Midwestern Higher Education Compact’s (MHEC) Phillip Sirotkin Award on November 19 during the commission’s annual meeting in Indianapolis, Ind. Dr. Davidson, a commissioner for MHEC, was nominated by fellow commissioners for her exemplary leadership in advancing Midwestern higher education through interstate cooperation.
Dr. Davidson was appointed in August 2017 as a MHEC commissioner serving as then-Governor John Kasich’s designee, and again reappointed as a MHEC commissioner in January 2019 serving as Governor Mike DeWine’s designee.
“Stephanie has a great passion for postsecondary education, and her work to advance college access, success, and completion is exemplified by this honor,” said Susan Heegaard, MHEC president. “Her innovation and creativity have not only benefitted the state of Ohio, but regionally and nationally.”
In the early 1990s, Dr. Sirotkin was the visionary behind the regional higher education compact in the Midwest. MHEC established the Phillip Sirotkin Award in his honor in 1999 and periodically confers the award upon individuals that have been voted upon by the entire commission.
Dr. Davidson was appointed in November 2013 to the Regional Steering Committee (RSC) for the Midwestern-State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (M-SARA). SARA provides a voluntary, regional approach to state oversight of postsecondary distance education. She is still an active member of the M-SARA RSC.
“It has been my privilege working with the MHEC staff and colleagues from the MHEC states, first helping to make M-SARA a reality and now as a MHEC commissioner,” Davidson said. “I am genuinely humbled and honored to be chosen as a recipient of the Phillip Sirotkin award.”
Ohio has been a member since the Compact’s creation in 1991 and MHEC’s states are synonymous with the Midwest census region states. In addition to Dr. Davidson, Ohio commissioners are: Rep. Rick Carfagna, chair of the Finance Subcommittee on Higher Education; Gary Cates, Senior Vice Chancellor for Innovation and Enterprise Development at the Ohio Department of Higher Education; Jack Hershey, president of the Ohio Association of Community Colleges; and Sen. Stephanie Kunze, chair of the Higher Education Committee. Bruce Johnson, president of the Inter-University Council of Ohio, and Dr. David Ponitz, president emeritus of Sinclair College, serve as commissioner alternates.
Legislatively created, the Midwestern Higher Education Compact’s purpose is to provide greater higher education opportunities and services in the Midwestern region. Collectively, 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. Member states are: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. www.mhec.org
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