135A.20 MIDWESTERN HIGHER EDUCATION COMPACT.
The Midwestern Higher Education Compact is enacted into law and entered into with all
jurisdictions legally joining therein in the form substantially as follows:
The purpose of the Midwestern Higher Education Compact shall be to provide greater higher
education opportunities and services in the Midwestern region, with the aim of furthering regional
access to, research in and choice of higher education for the citizens residing in the several states
which are parties to this compact.
(A) The compacting states hereby create the Midwestern Higher Education Commission,
hereinafter called the commission. The commission shall be a body corporate of each compacting
state. The commission shall have all the responsibilities, powers and duties set forth herein,
including the power to sue and be sued, and such additional powers as may be conferred upon it
by subsequent action of the respective legislatures of the compacting states in accordance with
the terms of this compact.
(B) The commission shall consist of five resident members of each state as follows: the
governor or the governor's designee who shall serve during the tenure of office of the governor;
two legislators, one from each house (except Nebraska, which may appoint two legislators from
its unicameral legislature), who shall serve two-year terms and be appointed by the appropriate
appointing authority in each house of the legislature; and two other at-large members, at least
one of whom shall be selected from the field of higher education. The at-large members shall
be appointed in a manner provided by the laws of the appointing state. One of the two at-large
members initially appointed in each state shall serve a two-year term. The other, and any regularly
appointed successor to either at-large member, shall serve a four-year term. All vacancies shall
be filled in accordance with the laws of the appointing states. Any commissioner appointed to
fill a vacancy shall serve until the end of the incomplete term.
(C) The commission shall select annually, from among its members, a chair, a vice-chair
and a treasurer.
(D) The commission shall appoint an executive director who shall serve at its pleasure and
who shall act as secretary to the commission. The treasurer, the executive director and such
other personnel as the commission may determine, shall be bonded in such amounts as the
commission may require.
(E) The commission shall meet at least once each calendar year. The chair may call additional
meetings and, upon the request of a majority of the commission members of three or more
compacting states, shall call additional meetings. Public notice shall be given of all meetings and
meetings shall be open to the public.
(F) Each compacting state represented at any meeting of the commission is entitled to one
vote. A majority of the compacting states shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business,
unless a larger quorum is required by the bylaws of the commission.
Powers and Duties of the Commission
(A) The commission shall adopt a seal and suitable bylaws governing its management
(B) Irrespective of the civil service, personnel or other merit system laws of any of the
compacting states, the commission in its bylaws shall provide for the personnel policies and
programs of the compact.
(C) The commission shall submit a budget to the governor and legislature of each compacting
state at such time and for such period as may be required. The budget shall contain specific
recommendations of the amount or amounts to be appropriated by each of the compacting states.
(D) The commission shall report annually to the legislatures and governors of the compacting
states, to the Midwestern Governors' Conference and to the Midwestern Legislative Conference
of the Council of State Governments concerning the activities of the commission during the
preceding year. Such reports shall also embody any recommendations that may have been adopted
by the commission.
(E) The commission may borrow, accept, or contract for the services of personnel from any
state or the United States or any subdivision or agency thereof, from any interstate agency, or
from any institution, foundation, person, firm or corporation.
(F) The commission may accept for any of its purposes and functions under the compact, any
and all donations and grants of money, equipment, supplies, materials and services (conditional or
otherwise) from any state or the United States or any subdivision or agency thereof, or interstate
agency, or from any institution, foundation, person, firm, or corporation, and may receive, utilize
and dispose of the same.
(G) The commission may enter into agreements with any other interstate education
organizations or agencies and with higher education institutions located in nonmember states and
with any of the various states of these United States to provide adequate programs and services in
higher education for the citizens of the respective compacting states. The commission shall, after
negotiations with interested institutions and interstate organizations or agencies, determine the
cost of providing the programs and services in higher education for use in these agreements.
(H) The commission may establish and maintain offices, which shall be located within one
or more of the compacting states.
(I) The commission may establish committees and hire staff as it deems necessary for the
carrying out of its functions.
(J) The commission may provide for actual and necessary expenses for attendance of its
members at official meetings of the commission or its designated committees.
Activities of the Commission
(A) The commission shall collect data on the long-range effects of the compact on higher
education. By the end of the fourth year from the effective date of the compact and every two
years thereafter, the commission shall review its accomplishments and make recommendations to
the governors and legislatures of the compacting states on the continuance of the compact.
(B) The commission shall study issues in higher education of particular concern to the
Midwestern region. The commission shall also study the needs for higher education programs
and services in the compacting states and the resources for meeting such needs. The commission
shall, from time to time, prepare reports on such research for presentation to the governors and
legislatures of the compacting states and other interested parties. In conducting such studies, the
commission may confer with any national or regional planning body. The commission may draft
and recommend to the governors and legislatures of the various compacting states suggested
legislation dealing with problems of higher education.
(C) The commission shall study the need for provision of adequate programs and services in
higher education, such as undergraduate, graduate or professional student exchanges in the region.
If a need for exchange in a field is apparent, the commission may enter into such agreements with
any higher education institution and with any of the compacting states to provide programs and
services in higher education for the citizens of the respective compacting states. The commission
shall, after negotiations with interested institutions and the compacting states, determine the cost of
providing the programs and services in higher education for use in its agreements. The contracting
states shall contribute the funds not otherwise provided, as determined by the commission, for
carrying out the agreements. The commission may also serve as the administrative and fiscal
agent in carrying out agreements for higher education programs and services.
(D) The commission shall serve as a clearinghouse on information regarding higher
education activities among institutions and agencies.
(E) In addition to the activities of the commission previously noted, the commission may
provide services and research in other areas of regional concern.
(A) The monies necessary to finance the general operations of the commission not otherwise
provided for in carrying forth its duties, responsibilities and powers as stated herein shall be
appropriated to the commission by the compacting states, when authorized by the respective
legislatures, by equal apportionment among the compacting states.
(B) The commission shall not incur any obligations of any kind prior to the making of
appropriations adequate to meet the same; nor shall the commission pledge the credit of any of
the compacting states, except by and with the authority of the compacting state.
(C) The commission shall keep accurate accounts of all receipts and disbursements. The
receipts and disbursements of the commission shall be subject to the audit and accounting
procedures established under its bylaws. However, all receipts and disbursements of funds
handled by the commission shall be audited yearly by a certified or licensed public accountant and
the report of the audit shall be included in and become part of the annual report of the commission.
(D) The accounts of the commission shall be open at any reasonable time for inspection
by duly authorized representatives of the compacting states and persons authorized by the
Eligible Parties and Entry Into Force
(A) The states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska,
North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin shall be eligible to become party to this
compact. Additional states will be eligible if approved by a majority of the compacting states.
(B) As to any eligible party state, this compact shall become effective when its legislature
shall have enacted the same into law; provided that it shall not become initially effective until
enacted into law by five states prior to the 31st day of December 1995.
(C) Amendments to the compact shall become effective upon their enactment by the
legislatures of all compacting states.
Withdrawal, Default, and Termination
(A) Any compacting state may withdraw from this compact by enacting a statute repealing
the compact, but such withdrawal shall not become effective until two years after the enactment
of such statute. A withdrawing state shall be liable for any obligations which it may have incurred
on account of its party status up to the effective date of withdrawal, except that if the withdrawing
state has specifically undertaken or committed itself to any performance of an obligation extending
beyond the effective date of withdrawal, it shall remain liable to the extent of such obligation.
(B) If any compacting state shall at any time default in the performance of any of its
obligations, assumed or imposed, in accordance with the provisions of this compact, all rights,
privileges and benefits conferred by this compact or agreements hereunder shall be suspended
from the effective date of such default as fixed by the commission, and the commission shall
stipulate the conditions and maximum time for compliance under which the defaulting state may
resume its regular status. Unless such default shall be remedied under the stipulations and within
the time period set forth by the commission, this compact may be terminated with respect to such
defaulting state by affirmative vote of a majority of the other member states. Any such defaulting
state may be reinstated by performing all acts and obligations as stipulated by the commission.
Severability and Construction
The provisions of this compact entered into hereunder shall be severable and if any phrase,
clause, sentence or provision of this compact is declared to be contrary to the constitution of any
compacting state or of the United States or the applicability thereof to any government, agency,
person or circumstance is held invalid, the validity of the remainder of this compact and the
applicability thereof to any government, agency, person or circumstance shall not be affected
thereby. If this compact entered into hereunder shall be held contrary to the constitution of any
compacting state, the compact shall remain in full force and effect as to the remaining states and
in full force and effect as to the state affected as to all severable matters. The provisions of this
compact entered into pursuant hereto shall be liberally construed to effectuate the purposes thereof.
History: 1990 c 518 s 1