Three Decades of Higher Education Excellence Through Collaboration
Professional Development and Networking Opportunities
Perhaps what SMHEC does best is convene groups of faculty and staff around topics of mutual interest. In addition to the Writing Initiatives, faculty have met to discuss Healthcare Education, Developmental Education, Math, Business and Elementary Education articulation, Sustainability, literacy and a variety of other topics. Among the topics staff and administrators discuss are: crisis management, sustainability, economic development, student success, enrolment, and informatics.
Dealing with sustainability naturally led to finding ways to reduce our collective energy consumption and expense. SMHEC led the initiative to determine the potential to jointly purchase energy and find a supplier. Through this collective purchase, SMHEC institutions are significantly reducing their electricity costs and increasing the percentage of green energy in their portfolios.
SMHEC led a project to reduce the cost and to reach a wider pool of qualified candidates with a group contract for Inside Higher Education, the marketplace for academic positions.
A unique pact ensuring cooperation between its institutions during a campus crisis, the Mutual Aid Plan is designed to help a member institution maintain operations. As part of the plan, an institution may request facilities, classroom space, equipment, or personnel in a variety of disciplines including police, IT staff, counselors, human resources, foodservice, and crisis communicators for a limited timeframe.
Collective media purchases
The Consortium facilitates the colleges’ ability to stretch their budgets through collaborative advertising and collective development of advertising materials. SMHEC has created joint videos, published the College Guide to the Chicago Southland, advertised on PACE buses, and developed joint contracts to advertise on billboards, Google, and the Inside Higher Education website.
The Library Resource Sharing and Reciprocal Borrowing Agreement, in place since 1996, provides students, faculty and staff access to and borrowing privileges for all physical materials that circulate at each of the participating institutions