Colleges tend to compete rather than collaborate. That’s why a new five-college cooperative in New Mexico is so unusual.

This week’s episode explores the Collaborative for Higher Education Shared Services, or CHESS. It’s made up, so far, of five independent community colleges in New Mexico that have teamed up because they think they’re stronger together than apart.

They’ve started by agreeing to create a common enterprise resource planning structure to share resources and information in areas such as accounting, student records, human resources and payroll, but the vision ultimately includes many of the features you might see in a formal college system, including smoother student mobility and more efficient and cost-effective campus operations.

In the conversation, the presidents of two of the colleges, Becky Rowley of Santa Fe Community College and Tracy Hartzler of Central New Mexico Community College, discuss the combination of trust, subjugation of institutional ego, and internal culture change required to bring about a massive cross-institutional collaboration like this. They acknowledge the help they’ve gotten from the external partners guiding their work, CampusWorks and Workday.

Hosted by Inside Higher Ed Co-founder and Editor Doug Lederman.
This episode is made possible by the support of Formstack


Episode Transcript

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