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Pearce Appointed to Midwestern Higher Education Compact

By Jeff Murphy, June 3, 2022


In a brief ceremony conducted by the Honorable Brent Teichman, left, associate circuit court judge for Johnson County, Missouri, David Pearce, executive director for governmental relations at the University of Central Missouri, recently took the oath of office for his new appointment as a member of the Midwestern Higher Education Compact.

WARRENSBURG, MO – David Pearce, executive director for governmental relations at the University of Central Missouri, has an opportunity to impact higher education throughout the state with his recent appointment to the Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC).

An interstate organization, MHEC is a compact that brings together member representatives from 12 midwestern states to develop and support best practices, collaborative efforts, and cost-sharing opportunities. It strives to ensure strong, equitable postsecondary educational opportunities and outcomes for all. 

According to MHEC President Susan G. Heegaard, 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. Membership in MHEC gives Missouri access to all of MHEC’s convenings, programs, research, and cost-savings contracts.” 

Appointed by Missouri Governor Mike Parson, Pearce is one of five Missourians who serve the MHEC. He joins Senator Cindy O'Laughlin, District 18; Representative John Black, District 137; the Governor's Policy Director Kayla Hahn; Truman State University President Susan Thomas; and Commissioner of Higher Education Zora Mulligan, who serves as an ex officio member. 

"I am honored to be appointed by Governor Parson to serve on the Compact.  It brings great value and information to Missouri to fulfill the higher education needs of our state," Pearce said.

MHEC was created in 1991. Since then, it has undertaken several initiatives to increase productivity, reduce administrative costs, and increase student opportunities. In 2021, member states and citizens saved over $123.83 million. In 2021, Missouri colleges, universities, school districts, and state and local governments realized more than $7.37 million in cost savings through MHEC’s contracts and programs. Additionally, Missouri citizens saved more than $6.12 million through the Midwest Student Exchange Program, noted Heegaard.

MHEC’s commissioners meet annually to review the MHEC agenda, provide direction for the Compact, discuss current challenges facing Midwestern higher education, and to learn from experts who can assist in the group’s mission of serving students in the Midwest. The annual commission meeting will convene Nov. 14-16 in Columbus, Ohio.

UCM President Roger Best commented on Pearce’s appointment to the MHEC, noting, “David's prior experience with MHEC, extensive knowledge of higher education issues, familiarity with the legislative process and interest in improving higher education make him an ideal appointee.  I appreciate Governor Parson's continued support of higher education and David's willingness to accept this appointment in order to make a difference for students in Missouri and our entire region. We are in a critical moment for higher education, and MHEC is well-positioned to help us meet the challenges we are facing."

Pearce has served UCM since October 2019. He joined the university after working as a senior political coordinator in the State Treasurer’s office. His career in state government includes previous service for eight years in the Missouri Senate, where he represented constituents from the 21st and 31st senatorial districts, and was chair of the Senate Education Committee. He also served for six years in the Missouri House of Representatives before becoming a senator. Additionally, while he was serving as a state representative in 2003, he was appointed as a commissioner to the Midwestern Higher Education Compact. He was reappointed in 2011, 2013, and 2015, and held leadership posts that included serving as vice chair, treasurer, and chair of the Compact.


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