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Ferris President Elected Chair of Midwestern Higher Education Compact

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David Eisler

David Eisler, president of Ferris State University, was elected chair of the Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC) on Nov. 9, during the commission’s Annual Commission Meeting, held virtually due to the pandemic. 

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. 

“I look forward to working with Dr. Eisler as our new chair,” said Susan Heegaard, MHEC president. “His effective leadership as a university president, deep experience with higher education and history with MHEC will be very beneficial to us during these uncertain times, and critical to our success in bringing policymakers and higher education leaders together in support of providing value to our member states.”

Eisler was originally appointed to the commission in 2004. He was reappointed in 2017 for the fourth time, serving a four-year term on MHEC’s governing board. Also elected were Rep. Rick Carfagna, subcommittee chair of the House Finance in the Ohio House of Representatives, who will serve as vice-chair, and Devinder Malhotra, chancellor of Minnesota State, who will serve as treasurer.

“The Midwestern Higher Education Compact is an extraordinary example of the strength and difference regional collaboration can create for higher education,” stated Eisler. “It is an honor and pleasure to serve as the MHEC chair in the coming year. There has never been a time when collaboration is more needed for the success of our states, our institutions and our students.”

Michigan has been a member since the Compact’s creation, signing legislation in 1990 to join. MHEC’s states are synonymous with the Midwest census region states. 

In addition to Eisler, Michigan commissioners are Ms. Brandy M. Johnson, postsecondary and workforce policy advisor for the Michigan Office of the Governor; Sen. Kimberly LaSata, committee chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Universities and Community Colleges for the Michigan Senate; Bill Pink, president of Grand Rapids Community College and Rep. Scott Van Singel, committee chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Higher Education and Community Colleges for the Michigan House of Representatives. Daniel J. Hurley, chief executive officer of the Michigan Association of State Universities, and Casandra Ulbrich, president of the State Board of Education, 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.