Tidemann Recognized by Commission as the Midwestern Higher Education Compact Sirotkin Award Recipient
SAINT PAUL, MN – Larry Tidemann of Brookings, South Dakota, received the Midwestern Higher Education Compact’s (MHEC) Phillip Sirotkin Award during their Annual Commission Meeting in Saint Paul, Minnesota, on November 14. He was also re-elected to serve as MHEC’s treasurer on the Compact’s governing board.
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.
A South Dakota native, Tidemann currently serves as South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem’s designee on the Compact’s governing board. He previously held four other commissioner terms during his tenure as a legislator, beginning in 2008. He was in the legislature for 14 years and spent a 32-year career with the South Dakota Cooperative Extension Service at South Dakota State University (SDSU), retiring in 2004.
“It is truly an honor and humbling to join the past recipients of this award,” said Tidemann. “I am a strong proponent of higher education having worked in this field for over 50 years. South Dakota’s membership in MHEC has provided the opportunity to collaborate and learn from other states. I am proud to be affiliated with this organization that strives to support best practices and collective problem-solving to strengthen postsecondary education in our region while maintaining the vision that this good work will impact the success of our students.” Upon receiving the reward, Tidemann reflected upon his career at SDSU and the opportunity to be in a leadership role for many years.
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.
“We celebrate Larry for his leadership and passion for higher education,” stated Heegaard. "We’ve appreciated his guidance and counsel as our treasurer and a strong supporter of our work in South Dakota and across the region. I am so glad to see him recognized with this award.”
MHEC’s states are synonymous with the Midwest census region states. Member states are Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Michigan has been a member since the Compact’s creation, signing legislation in 1990 to join.
In addition to Tidemann, South Dakota commissioners are Michael Cartney, president emeritus of Lake Area Technical College; Sen. Steve Kolbeck, vice chair of the Senate Education Committee; Nathan Lukkes, executive director and CEO of the South Dakota Board of Regents; and Rep. Tyler Tordsen, member of the House Education Committee. Rep. Erin Healy and Sen. Reynold Nesiba serve as commissioner alternates.
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. www.mhec.org
Pictured: MHEC President Susan Heegaard, Tidemann, and Chair Barbara Ballard, state representative, Kansas Legislature.