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Gerald Brouder receives tribute from higher education compact

Gerald Brouder, president of Columbia College in Missouri, received the Phillip Sirotkin Award for exemplary leadership in advancing Midwestern higher education through interstate cooperation from the Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC) on November 18, in Cincinnati, Ohio. The compact presented its highest award to Brouder during the compact’s annual meeting.

“Serving as a Missouri commissioner for MHEC has been a wonderful experience,” said Brouder. The compact has developed into a collaborative saving member states millions of dollars through group purchase agreements and student exchange programs. In addition, the compact serves as a resource for policy development and analysis focused on postsecondary education in the Midwest.

“My hope is that in some small way I have contributed to the advancement of higher education through my service to MHEC. I am truly honored to receive the Sirotkin Award,” he added.

Brouder is one of MHEC’s longest-serving commissioners since the compact’s origin in 1991. He began serving as a Missouri commissioner in January 1994 and completed his fourth term in April 2012. He was appointed by three different governors. During his years as a commissioner he served as a MHEC Executive Committee representative for Missouri, and as a member on numerous committees relevant to the future of the organization.

In the early 1990s, Sirotkin was the visionary behind the regional higher education cooperation in the Midwest. MHEC established the Phillip Sirotkin Award in his honor in 1999 and periodically confers the award upon individuals that have been voted upon by the entire commission.

Current Missouri commissioners are Evelyn Jorgenson, president of Moberly Area Community College; Carolyn Mahoney, president of Lincoln University; David Pearce, state senator; Mark Smith, assistant vice chancellor at Washington University; and Mike Thomson, state representative. Serving as a commissioner alternate is David Russell, commissioner of higher education for the Missouri Department of Higher Education.

ABOUT COLUMBIA COLLEGE Founded in 1851 in Columbia, Mo., Columbia College has been helping students advance their lives through higher education for more than 160 years. As a private, nonprofit, liberal arts and sciences institution, the college takes pride in its small classes, experienced faculty and quality educational programs. With more than 30 campuses across the country, 18 of which are on military installations, students may enroll in day, evening or online classes. The college is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Columbia College educates more than 30,000 students each year and has more than 74,000 alumni worldwide. For more information, visit

ABOUT MHEC Since its formation in 1991, MHEC has been committed to cost-savings programs, student access and policy research and analysis. The compact consists of twelve member states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Statutorily created, the member states’ five commissioners are appointed and are leaders from higher education, the legislature, and the governor’s office. Commissioners meet twice a year and will meet again in June 2013 in Indianapolis, IN, and in November 2013 in Omaha, NE. MHEC is headquartered in Minneapolis and led by President Larry Isaak. For more information about the compact, please visit or call 612-677-2777.