Suzanne Morris assumed the position of commission chair of the Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC), during the commission’s semi-annual meeting held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on November 16-17. Morris was elected last fall and served a year term as vice chair (2013-14) and a term as the Compact’s treasurer (2012-13). One of four regional higher education compacts in the United States, MHEC (www.mhec.org) is a nonprofit regional organization assisting its 12 member Midwestern states in advancing higher education through interstate cooperation and resource sharing.
The compact seeks to fulfill its interstate mission through programs that expand postsecondary opportunity and success; promote innovative approaches to improving institutional and system productivity; improve affordability to students and states; and enhance connectivity between higher education and the workplace. Member states are: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
"It is an honor and a pleasure to serve as chair for MHEC," said Morris, of Grayslake, Illinois. “This organization provides savings and other types of services through its contract negotiating and multi-state initiatives. The cooperation with other Midwest states benefits not only the individual states, but the whole 12-state region." In FY 2014, Illinois education institutions, school districts, state and local governments, and students achieved savings of over $29.9 million.
“Suzanne’s experience as a MHEC officer for the past two years and her experiences in postsecondary education for the Illinois Community College Board will be very helpful as MHEC continues to embark on several new initiatives for interstate collaboration,” said Larry Isaak, MHEC president.
Morris was initially appointed a MHEC commissioner in 2011. She is vice-chair of the Illinois Community College Board, which oversees the community colleges in Illinois.
In addition to Morris, current Illinois MHEC Commissioners are: James L. Applegate, Executive Director, Illinois Board of Higher Education; Michael W. Frerichs, Senator, Illinois General Assembly; Naomi D. Jakobsson, Representative, Illinois General Assembly; and Addison E. Woodward, Board Member, Illinois Board of Higher Education; and MHEC Commissioner Alternate: Chad Hays, Representative, Illinois General Assembly.