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.
[click here to view our membership]
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:
- Co-founder, President, Board of Directors (HESS)
Carol Smith, DePauw University (Chief Information Officer)*
- Co-founder, Executive Director & Vice President, Board of Directors (HESS)
Keith Fowlkes, E&I Cooperative Services (VP, Technology Contracts & former higher education CIO)*
- Secretary, Board of Directors (HESS)
Penny Evans-Plants, Berry College (Chief Information Officer)*
- Treasurer, Board of Directors (HESS)
Mark Coleman, Lindsey Wilson College (Vice President for Administration and Finance)
- Anthology Cohort Co-chairs, Board of Directors (HESS)
Paul Dupree, Asbury University (Chief Information Officer)*
Kirk Bay, Mercer University (Exec. Director, Application Services)
- Ellucian Colleague Cohort Co-Chairs, Board of Directors (HESS)
Ezra Krumhansl, Spalding University (Chief Information Officer)
Eric Satterly, Bellarmine University (Chief Information Officer)*
- Ellucian Banner Cohort Co-chair, Board of Directors (HESS)
Anne R Pacione, St. John's University (Chief Information Officer)
Troy Thomason, Rollins College (Chief Information Officer)
- Jenzabar Cohort Chair, Board of Directors (HESS)
Andrew Ryan, Centre College (Chief Information Officer)
Kenitra Horsley, Queen's College of Charlotte (Interim Chief Information Officer)
- Oracle Cohort Co-chairs, Board of Directors (HESS)
Todd Norris, Saint Mary's College- Notre Dame, IN. (Chief Information Officer)
Gene Spencer, Ursinus College (Chief Information Officer)
- Unit 4/ CAMS/ Three Rivers Cohort Chair, Board of Directors (HESS)
2 OPEN POSITIONS
- Workday Cohort Co-Chairs, Board of Directors (HESS)
Spencer Golden, Haverford College (Associate Chief Information Officer)
Maria Piret, Lynn University (Director, Information Systems)
- Members-at-Large, Board of Directors (HESS)
Trey Arrington, Spartanburg Methodist College (Chief Information Officer)
Matthew McKenna, Cleveland Institute of Art (Director of Information Technology)
The HESS Consortium Membership
as of 11/7/2022
Click here to Join HESS Today!
|Abilene Christian University||Georgetown College||Piedmont College|
|Adelphi University||Gordon College||Presbyterian College|
|Adrian College||Goshen College||Prescott College|
|Agnes Scott College||Grace College & Seminary||Principia College|
|Albion College||Graceland University||Queens University of Charlotte|
|Albright College||Greensboro College||Ranken Technical College|
|Allegheny College||Greenville University||Rhodes College|
|American International College||Grinnell College||Rider University|
|Amherst College||Guilford College||Roanoke College|
|Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary||Gustavus Adolphus College||Robert Morris University|
|Anderson University||Hamilton College||Rollins College|
|Aquinas College||Hampshire College||Roosevelt University|
|Arcadia University||Hanover College||Saint Joseph's University|
|Asbury University||Harding University||Saint Mary of the Woods|
|Ashland University||Haverford College||Saint Mary's College|
|Assumption University||Hawaii Pacific University||Saint Mary's College of California|
|Augsburg University||Hiram College||Saint Michael's College|
|Augustana University||Hodges University||Saint Vincent College|
|Aurora University||Holy Cross College - Notre Dame, IN||Saint Xavier University|
|Austin College||Houghton University||Sarah Lawrence College|
|Averett University||Huntington University||School for International Training|
|Bellarmine University||Illinois Institute of Technology||Seattle Pacific University|
|Belmont Abbey College||Illinois Wesleyan University||Seattle University|
|Belmont University||Indiana Tech||Seton Hall University|
|Beloit College||Iowa Wesleyan University||Seton Hill University|
|Bennington College||Ithaca College||Sewanee: The University of the South|
|Berry College||John Brown University||Shenandoah University|
|Bethesda University||John Carroll University||Sherman College of Chiropratic|
|Bluefield College||Johnson C. Smith University||Shorter University|
|Bob Jones University||Juniata College||South Texas College of Law Houston|
|Brenau University||Kalamazoo College||Southeastern University|
|Brewton-Parker College||Kenyon College||Southern College of Optometry|
|Bryan College||Keystone College||Southwestern University|
|Bushnell University||King University||Spalding University|
|Cairn University||Knox College||Spartanburg Methodist College|
|California Institute of Technology||La Salle University||Spelman College|
|California Institute of the Arts||Lackawanna College||Spring Arbor University|
|California Lutheran University||LaGrange College||St. John Fisher College|
|Calumet College of St. Joseph||Lake Forest College||St. John's University|
|Campbell University||Lasell University||St. Lawrence University|
|Campbellsville University||Lawrence University||St. Mary's University (TX)|
|Carleton College||Lee University||St. Olaf College|
|Carroll University||LeTourneau University||Susquehanna University|
|Carthage College||Life University||Sweet Briar College|
|Catawba College||Limestone University||Taylor University|
|Cedarville University||Lindsey Wilson College||Tennessee Wesleyan University|
|Central College||Lipscomb University||Texas Wesleyan University|
|Centre College||Loras College||The College of Wooster|
|Charleston Southern University||Lourdes University||The King's College (NY)|
|Christian Theological Seminary||Loyola University Maryland||The University of Findlay|
|Claflin University||Lubbock Christian University||Thomas More College|
|Clark Atlanta University||Luther College||Toccoa Falls College|
|Clarke University||Luther Seminary||Transylvania University|
|Clarkson College||Lynn University||Trine University|
|Cleveland Institute of Art||Macalester College||Trinity College|
|Coker University||Manchester University||Trinity University|
|College of Saint Benedict / Saint John's University||Marist College||Truett McConnell University|
|College of the Atlantic||Mars Hill University||Tusculum University|
|Colorado Christian University||Martin University||Union College - KY|
|Columbia International University||Mary Baldwin College||Union University - TN|
|Concordia University- Chicago||Marymount Manhattan College||University of Dallas|
|Converse University||Maryville College||University of Lynchburg|
|Corban University||Marywood University||University of Mary|
|Covenant College||McDaniel College||University of Mary Hardin-Baylor|
|Daemen College||McPherson College||University of Medical Sciences Arizona|
|Dallas Theological Seminary||Mercer University||University of Mount Union|
|Davidson College||Messiah College||University of Pikeville|
|Delaware Valley University||Midway University||University of Portland|
|Denison University||Millsaps College||University of Rio Grande / Rio Grande Community College|
|Denver Seminary||Misericordia University||University of Saint Francis (IN)|
|DePauw University||Mississippi College||University of Sioux Falls|
|DeSales University||Moody Bible Institute||University of St. Francis (IL)|
|Dickinson College||Morehouse College||University of the Incarnate Word|
|Dominican University||Morningside University||Ursinus College|
|Dordt University||Mount Holyoke College||Vassar College|
|Drake University||Mount Marty University||Virginia Wesleyan University|
|Drew University||Mount St. Joseph University||Wabash College|
|Duquesne University||Muhlenberg College||Wagner College|
|Earlham College||Naropa University||Warner University|
|Elmhurst University||National University of Health Sciences||Warren Wilson College|
|Elmira College||North Central College||Washington & Jefferson College|
|Erskine College||North Greenville University||Washington and Lee University|
|Fairfield University||North Park University||Wesleyan College|
|Fairleigh Dickinson University||Northwestern College||Wesleyan University|
|Faulkner University||Northwood University||Westminster College|
|Ferrum College||Norwich University||Wheaton College (IL)|
|Flagler College||Oak Point University||Wheaton College (MA)|
|Florida College||Oakwood University||William James College|
|Franklin & Marshall College||Oberlin College||Williams College|
|Furman University||Ohio Dominican University||Wingate University|
|Gannon University||Ohio Northern University||Wittenberg University|
|George Fox University||Ohio Wesleyan University||Wofford College|
|George Washington University||Palmer College of Chiropractic||Xavier University|
|Paul Smith's College||York College of Pennsylvania|
|Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences||York College of Pennsylvania|
Thank you for your interest in our group and we hope to hear from you soon.