About HESS and Join Now!
In March 2014, a small group of private, non-profit college and university chief information officers and chief financial officers began discussing the need for a new organization focusing on the rising costs of technology in higher education, specifically in the ERP industry. The original founding leaders included (positions at that time) Micheal Boehm (former CIO, Saint Mary's College- IN), Keith Fowlkes (former CIO, Centre College), Bob Keasler (former CFO, Centre College), Penny Evans-Plants (CIO, Berry College), Fred Miller (former CIO, Furman University), Eric Satterly (CIO, Bellarmine University) and Carol Smith (CIO, Depauw University). These higher education leaders then invited a number of their colleagues from other institutions to a planned gathering in Louisville, KY to discuss the formation of a new consortium, specifically for private, non-profit colleges and universities.
At Bellarmine University in Louisville, KY on June 5, 2014, a meeting of CFOs and CIOs from 42 private higher education institutions and state associations called "The Administrative Systems Forum" took place. We realized that, throughout the country, private college/university Chief Business Officers (CBO) and Chief Information/Technology Officers (CIO) are mutually charged with providing mission critical administrative services in an environment of almost flat, if not decreasing, net revenues. We are asked to maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of administrative software services and related information technology to meet the increasing needs of diverse users while minimizing the resources used. Together, we are working in lockstep with our Presidents to determine how our tasks can best be accomplished, what marketplace options may be available to better meet out needs, and what innovative solutions are being implemented in our sector across the country.
Most of the major administrative software vendors (including Ellucian, Jenzabar, Campus Management, and others) are in the process of redeveloping their products and subsequently restructuring their pricing models. New opportunities for collaborative pricing of vendor software, consultative services, Software-as-a-Service, Cloud Services and even shared services exist now and will continue to grow in the future. At the first Forum meeting, we heard from colleagues whom have already successfully implemented many of these collaborative cost-saving solutions and others who are ready to explore new partnerships and ways of doing business. This conference was not sponsored by, nor will be attended by, vendors providing a forum free from the distraction of sales representatives.
Attendees were invited to bring ideas, experience, questions and a willingness to have open-ended discussions with colleagues on a wide range of new solutions. The outcome was very positive from all the attendees and we are now working on next steps to discuss the formation of a new consortium focused on higher education ERP solutions, pricing and future emerging technologies that could change the way private institutions do business. If you are interested in becoming a part of this discussion to start a new ERP-focused consortium of private institutions, please register for an account here. Please note that only registrants from .edu contact email addresses and approved state associations will be given an account on this site to protect the membership from spam and unwanted advertising. Also, your information will not be shared to vendors or other outside sales entities.
WHAT ARE WE TODAY?
Today, the Higher Education Systems & Services Consortium or "The HESS Consortium" is a fully incorporated 501c3 non-profit, membership-run organization. The HESS Consortium is primarily a community of practice among CIOs and CFOs in private, non-profit higher education. One of our major focuses is on collectively lowering costs and increasing collaboration between specifically private colleges and universities in the area of administrative systems and services.
The HESS Consortium is made up of chief financial officers, chief information officers as well as technology and finance directors in a diverse group of schools committed to finding efficiencies and cost savings by working with other like-minded institutions. Together, we realize that, throughout the country, private college/university Chief Business Officers (CBO) and Chief Information/Technology Officers (CIO) are mutually charged with providing mission critical administrative services in an environment of almost flat, if not decreasing, net revenues. We are asked to maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of administrative software services and related information technology to meet the increasing needs of diverse users while minimizing the resources used.
We currently have strong relationships with major higher education ERP companies including: Campus Management, Inc., Ellucian, Jenzabar, Oracle, Unit4 and Workday. Our individual cohorts are run by institutional leaders using ERP solutions from their respective companies.
WHAT ARE OUR GOALS?
The goals for our member-run consortium include 1.) vendor cohort teams to negotiate overall pricing for each of the major ERP vendors for both on-premise and in-the-cloud operations, 2.) develop an “apples-to-apples” comparison instrument to look at all the vendors’ pricing models and product features and 3.) begin to develop an affordable collaborative model for cloud-based operations as an option for those institutions interested. Organizationally, we will be developing institutional support/collaboration between the vendor cohort groups as well as best practices discussions for CIOs, CFOs and technical staff professionals within vendor product cohorts as well as between member institutions.
Can I negotiate my pricing outside of the consortium while I am a part of HESS?
The overall goal for our consortium is to negotiate a fair cost for all the members collectively. HESS vendor cohorts negotiate product pricing with vendors based on the cohort FTE numbers for the total group of schools. This allows most schools to see a strong overall savings within most all consortia. What we do ask member institutions to do is stay true to the collective good of the consortium. We strongly believe that, if individual members leave the consortium to get a better "one off" price, that member will succomb to predatory pricing just to see their costs increase significantly at a later time. Members who would join and get a lower deal outside of the group would not be helping the full group of schools in the cohort. For this reason, we do ask our members to take part in their cohorts to directly collaborate with the vendors for the best pricing and to be faithful to the bond between the institutions within the consortium.
How are pricing negotiated between member institutions and vendor software partners?
All pricing and features negotiations go on between the vendor cohort groups and the vendor software partner directly. Vendor cohorts help develop RFP requirements and pricing standards and decide whether the features and pricing meet their individual institutional needs. Cohorts have the ability to accept RFP responses or request changes to the vendor software partner request. If an agreement cannot be made, the cohort has the ability to reject parts of the RFP response or reject the entire response. While most institutions have a non-disclosure statement that limits indivual pricing from being shared, member institutions can communicate whether a submitted pricing layout from their vendor is helpful to their institution or not. This is how cohorts can work together to find an optimal pricing model that is beneficial to all institutions in a vendor solution cohort.
All contracts with vendors are still done between the institutions and its vendor of choice. HESS negotiates the pricing agreement but the institution continues to contract, communicate and work with their vendor of choice as usual under the HESS collaborative agreement.
Absolutely not. While the HESS Consortium is concerned about pricing to member institutions, the group is also interested working more closely with vendor software partners to better collaborate on customer needs regarding features and future directions of the product- especially in cloud-based operations. Most importantly, we want to work together internally to promote better collaboration, information/expertise sharing and collective innovation on many areas of administrative and academic operations. We are starting the process of creating user forums and communities where administrative professionals can share their work and their questions with other professionals to collaborate and innovate on new collective solutions to operational automation and problems.
In short, we are interested in other private, non-profit colleges and universities who wish to support and aid each other in making our collective administrative operations better and more effective while finding new efficiencies.
JOIN THE HESS CONSORTIUM TODAY!
If you would like for your private, non-profit higher education institution to become a part of the Higher Education Systems and Services Consortium, have an authorized member of your college or university to click here to fill out our institutional membership form online or click the "Join Online" button to the right.
Membership fees are $499 annually.
Vendor-partners are selected through our HESS Consortium member community only.
If you would like to get more information about becoming a HESS vendor-partner, please click here.
NOTE: As of February 30, 2017, HESS Consortium negotiated shared contracts are now completely voluntary to members. If the contract does not meet your campus' needs or pricing goals, there is no obligation for you to take part BUT let us know so we can work harder to make it helpful to your institution!
Higher Education Systems and Services Consortium Board of Directors:
- Carol Smith, DePauw University (Chief Information Officer)*
President, Board of Directors (HESS)
- Keith Fowlkes, E&I Cooperative Services (VP, Technology Contracts & former higher education CIO)*
Executive Director & Vice President, Board of Directors (HESS)
- Penny Evans-Plants, Berry College (Chief Information Officer)*
Secretary, Board of Directors (HESS)
- Mark Coleman, Lindsey Wilson College (Vice President for Administration and Finance)
Treasurer, Board of Directors (HESS)
- Paul Dupree, Asbury University (Chief Information Officer)*
Kirk Bay, Mercer University (Exec. Director, Application Services)
Campus Management Cohort Co-chairs, Board of Directors (HESS)
- Ezra Krumhansl, Spalding University (Chief Information Officer)
Eric Satterly, Bellarmine University (Chief Information Officer)*
Ellucian Colleague Cohort Co-Chairs, Board of Directors (HESS)
- Anne R Pacione, St. John's University (Chief Information Officer)
Troy Thomason, Rollins College (Chief Information Officer)
Ellucian Banner Cohort Co-chair, Board of Directors (HESS)
- Andrew Ryan, Centre College (Chief Information Officer)
Jenzabar Cohort Chair, Board of Directors (HESS)
- Trey Arrington, Spartanburg Methodist College (Chief Information Officer)
Unit 4/CAMS/Three Rivers Cohort Chair, Board of Directors (HESS)
- Spencer Golden, Haverford College (Associate Chief Information Officer)
Maria Piret, Lynn University (Director, Information Systems)
Workday Cohort Co-Chairs, Board of Directors (HESS)
- Brian Baute, Queen's University, Charlotte (Chief Information Officer)
Todd Norris, Saint Mary's College- Notre Dame, IN. (Chief Information Officer)
Members-at-Large, Board of Directors (HESS)
The HESS Consortium Membership
as of 10/25/2021
|Abilene Christian University||Illinois Wesleyan University||St. Mary's University (TX)|
|Adelphi University||Indiana Tech||Susquehanna University|
|Agnes Scott College||Iowa Wesleyan University||Sweet Briar College|
|Albion College||Ithaca College||Taylor University|
|Albright College||John Brown University||Tennessee Wesleyan University|
|Allegheny College||John Carroll University||Texas Wesleyan University|
|American International College||Juniata College||The College of Wooster|
|Amherst College||Kenyon College||The King's College (NY)|
|Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary||King University||The University of Findlay|
|Anderson University||Knox College||Thomas More College|
|Aquinas College||La Salle University||Toccoa Falls College|
|Arcadia University||LaGrange College||Transylvania University|
|Asbury University||Lake Forest College||Trine University|
|Ashland University||Lasell University||Trinity College|
|Assumption University||Lawrence University||Trinity University|
|Augsburg University||Lee University||Truett McConnell University|
|Augustana University||LeTourneau University||Tusculum University|
|Aurora University||Life University||Union College - KY|
|Austin College||Lindsey Wilson College||Union University - TN|
|Averett University||Lipscomb University||University of Dallas|
|Bellarmine University||Loras College||University of Lynchburg|
|Belmont University||Lourdes University||University of Mary|
|Beloit College||Lubbock Christian University||University of Mary Hardin-Baylor|
|Bennington College||Luther College||University of Mount Union|
|Berry College||Luther Seminary||University of Pikeville|
|Bluefield College||Lynn University||University of Rio Grande / Rio Grande Community College|
|Bob Jones University||Macalester College||University of Saint Francis (IN)|
|Brenau University||Manchester University||University of St. Francis (IL)|
|Bryan College||Marist College||University of the Incarnate Word|
|Bushnell University||Mars Hill University||Ursinus College|
|Cairn University||Martin University||Vassar College|
|California Institute of the Arts||Mary Baldwin College||Wabash College|
|California Lutheran University||Marymount Manhattan College||Wagner College|
|Calumet College of St. Joseph||Maryville College||Warner University|
|Campbell University||Marywood University||Washington & Jefferson College|
|Campbellsville University||McDaniel College||Washington and Lee University|
|Carleton College||McPherson College||Wesleyan College|
|Carroll University||Mercer University||Wesleyan University|
|Catawba College||Messiah College||Wheaton College (IL)|
|Cedarville University||Midway University||Wheaton College (MA)|
|Central College||Millsaps College||William James College|
|Centre College||Misericordia University||Williams College|
|Charleston Southern University||Mississippi College||Wingate University|
|Christian Theological Seminary||Moody Bible Institute||Wofford College|
|Claflin University||Morehouse College||Xavier University|
|Clark Atlanta University||Morningside University|
|Clarke University||Mount Holyoke College|
|Clarkson College||Mount St. Joseph University|
|Cleveland Institute of Art||Muhlenberg College|
|Coker University||Naropa University|
|College of Saint Benedict / Saint John's University||National University of Health Sciences|
|College of the Atlantic||North Central College|
|Colorado Christian University||North Greenville University|
|Columbia International University||North Park University|
|Converse University||Northwood University|
|Corban University||Oakwood University|
|Covenant College||Oberlin College|
|Daemen College||Ohio Dominican University|
|Dallas Theological Seminary||Ohio Northern University|
|Davidson College||Ohio Wesleyan University|
|Delaware Valley University||Palmer College of Chiropractic|
|Denison University||Paul Smith's College|
|Denver Seminary||Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences|
|DePauw University||Piedmont College|
|Dominican University||Presbyterian College|
|Dordt University||Prescott College|
|Drake University||Principia College|
|Drew University||Queens University of Charlotte|
|Duquesne University||Ranken Technical College|
|Earlham College||Resurrection University|
|Elmhurst University||Rhodes College|
|Erskine College||Rider University|
|Fairfield University||Roanoke College|
|Fairleigh Dickinson University||Robert Morris University|
|Faulkner University||Rollins College|
|Flagler College||Roosevelt University|
|Florida College||Rowan College of South Jersey|
|Franklin & Marshall College||Saint Joseph's University|
|Furman University||Saint Mary of the Woods|
|Gannon University||Saint Mary's College|
|George Washington University||Saint Mary's College of California|
|Georgetown College||Saint Vincent College|
|Gordon College||Saint Xavier University|
|Goshen College||Sarah Lawrence College|
|Grace College & Seminary||School for International Training|
|Graceland University||Seattle Pacific University|
|Greenville University||Seattle University|
|Grinnell College||Seton Hill University|
|Gustavus Adolphus College||Sewanee: The University of the South|
|Hamilton College||Shenandoah University|
|Hampshire College||Sherman College of Chiropratic|
|Hanover College||South Texas College of Law Houston|
|Harding University||Southeastern University|
|Haverford College||Southern College of Optometry|
|Hawaii Pacific University||Southwestern University|
|Hiram College||Spalding University|
|Hodges University||Spartanburg Methodist College|
|Holy Cross College - Notre Dame, IN||Spelman College|
|Huntington University||Spring Arbor University|
|Illinois Institute of Technology||St. John's University|
Our partnering state and organizational associations include:
Thank you for your interest in our group and we hope to hear from you soon.