Two more colleges join CHESS


October 6, 2021

Two more New Mexico colleges, including Mesalands Community College, last week announced an interest in joining the Collaborative for Higher Education Shared Services, or CHESS.

Mesalands and Luna Community College of Las Vegas are exploring the option of joining the nonprofit organization that works to transform the student experience and modernize administrative processes, according to a news release.

CHESS was formed earlier this year by the presidents of five New Mexico colleges • Central New Mexico Community College, Clovis Community College, Northern New Mexico College, San Juan College and Santa Fe Community College. The vision includes using the same software platform for tasks every college has in common, such as accounting, student records, financial aid, human resources and payroll. Each college keeps its own data separate, but can collaborate when needed.

A benefit identified during a September CCC Board of Trustees meeting was a wide expansion of degree plans, with an example given that a CCC student could takea class offered at Santa Fe Community College without going outside the CCC registration processes.

After issuing a request for proposals last year and evaluating them, CHESS recently chose Workday as its partner to implement the shared services vision.

CampusWorks, which shepherded the colleges through the vendor selection process, remains a guide in the project.

In the coming months, Luna and Mesalands will identify their college’s information technology and institutional readiness before they make a final recommendation to their respective boards about formally joining CHESS.

“Our students are sometimes hindered in completing their degrees on time due to our rural location,” Mesalands President Gregory T. Busch said. “I’m hoping that as we look at auditing our capabilities, we discover we are indeed ready to join CHESS and expand opportunities for our students and our community.”

“The presidents of CHESS have formed a coalition of like-minded colleges who want to strengthen the collaboration and coordination among higher education institutions and together implement creative solutions,” said CEO Kathy Ulibarri. “Expanding our membership to partner with Luna and Mesalands is a natural and positive result of the vision we have to better serve students and improve our operations. We look forward to welcoming them when they’re ready.”


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