This week’s episode explores how five community colleges in New Mexico are working together to transform how they function.

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

Follow Us On Apple Podcasts   




More Episodes

Terry Hartle talks about the state of U.S. politics, higher ed policy making, and colleges’ role in the culture wars as he concludes 30 years of advocacy for colleges.

A panel of experts assesses the implications of news that the University of Phoenix might be sold to a public university system.

How far have we traveled on a path to a more flexible, open and equitable learner ecosystem?

Many colleges and professors used it during the pandemic, to mixed reviews. Is it part of the answer going forward?

The data on career outcomes – and, importantly, other factors – that campuses collect and publish to prove their worth.

This week’s episode explores what’s driving the trend and whether an overdependence on economic outcomes can lead to unintended consequences.

Americans aren’t doubting its importance, but they’re asking harder questions about whether it’s worth the time and money.

Do higher ed leaders have an overly rosy view of what’s ahead for their campuses?

Recent developments make this conversation about strategic alliances between institutions timely.

This week’s episode of The Key explores the 7.5 percent decline that college enrollments have suffered since the pandemic, with a focus on community colleges that enroll working learners and first-generation students, which have been especially hard hit.



Back to Top