All posts by Nat Forcier

Announcing Stakeholder Relations Strategist

August 14, 2017

I am happy to announce that Mary M. Lee has accepted the new position of Stakeholder Relations Strategist at the Green Mountain Higher Education Consortium and will start early September.

Mary comes to us from Champlain College where she has been involved with the Consortium and has been an avid supporter from its start as the Lead of the Human Resources group. This group has already accomplished much by saving the Consortium members, Champlain College, Middlebury College and Saint Michael’s College, to date $2.5 million through group purchasing. Mary has also been a member of the Steering Committee for the Consortium Technology project which has just resulted in the purchase of new Advancement as well Human Resources and Finance Software for all three colleges. Since January 2017, she has been on the Board of the Consortium.

In her new position, Mary will support the Consortium and its member colleges in engaging its faculty, staff, and at times, students as we are making changes that touch every one of them such as through the implementation of Oracle Cloud systems for Human Resources and Finance. She will also work with future full and associate members of the Consortium to successfully on-board them.

After a distinguished career in the corporate world such as with IDX Systems, Burton Snowboards and National Life Group, Mary joined Champlain College in 2012 rising to Vice President of People and Technology. She received a master’s of science in administration from St. Michael’s College and holds an undergraduate degree from Trinity College. She holds certifications in Appreciative Inquiry from Case Western University, Compensation from WorldatWork and Human Resources from Society for Human Resources Management.

Mary is actively engaged in a number of community organizations and resides in Burlington with her husband and son.

Please join me in welcoming Mary to her new role. Mary can be reached at

Administrative Systems & Advancement Finalists Selection

November 22, 2016

The Green Mountain Higher Education Consortium Administrative and Advancement Systems Steering Committee met November 22, 2016 to choose finalists for both systems. The decision was based on the  information received from demo participants via a survey, feedback from the functional leads of each college, updated roadmaps and pricing information from the vendors .  Thanks to the fact that the functional leads assessment from the three colleges and the survey results aligned nicely, it was easy to narrow down vendors to the following by unanimous vote:
Administrative Systems: Oracle and Workday
Advancement: Blackbaud and roundCorner / Salesforce

Our next steps include:
– Dec 2nd Consortium Board, Presidents  & Steering Committee Meeting – Key updates and next steps
–  Follow-up on key questions, clarifying items for vendors still in the running and best and final pricing
– Reference checking of vendors
– Functional leads meeting with steering committee to recommend one vendor
– Report out to each college’s January board meeting


November 2, 2016

At the Consortium we work hard – as witnessed by the many demonstrations we are all attending. We also like to play…


ERP Buzz Word Bingo
Slack methodology BI portal flexibility
chatbots cloud vision iterative Amazon
user boards seamless standardization agile configurable
methodology analytics dashboards mobile first multi-tenant
customizable success integration innovative Cloud

Presidents Give Update on ERP and Advancement RFP

October 27, 2016

Dear Colleagues,

As many of you know, the Green Mountain Higher Education Consortium (GMHEC) was formed in 2013 by Champlain College, Middlebury College, and Saint Michael’s College. Our goal was to contain our institutional costs while increasing and/or adding value to our services. We are pleased with the partnership and the progress we have made so far, particularly in the areas of purchasing and benefits.  

We see opportunities to achieve the same objectives in our technology services. This past spring, we began exploring what is currently working well and where there are opportunities in the administrative systems we use for financial management, payroll and human resource management, student services and advancement.

We first met with stakeholders in these respective areas at each college, gathering data through surveys and listening sessions led by our consulting partner CampusWorks. Then, over the summer, we used the stakeholder data to design a request for proposal (RFP) that we submitted to a number of technology vendors. We selected seven respondents to come to Vermont to demonstrate their respective software starting October 25. Please see the GMHEC ERP/Advancement page for further information on the process as well as the schedule for upcoming demonstration days for these vendors.

By engaging with these vendors, each college can evaluate which technology solutions will best meet our needs, help us increase our service levels, and optimize our talent, similar to what we have done in other areas. It also allows us to learn about opportunities for improvements within our current systems. We are also reviewing where shared needs exist between the Consortium colleges, and determining whether there are opportunities to partner together.

We thank you for your assistance to date and encourage you to continue to be involved, engaged and supportive in this exploration.  

Please address any questions to Corinna Noelke, the Consortium’s executive director, or visit the Consortium’s website.


Donald J. Laackman
President, Champlain College

Laurie L. Patton
President, Middlebury College

John J. Neuhauser
President, Saint Michael’s College

Consortium decides on Semi-Finalists for ERP and Advancement RFP

October 4, 2016

In the fall of 2015, the Member Colleges of the Green Mountain Higher Education Consortium saw the need to embark on a project to determine what could be the next generation Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software for each college. The Steering Committee, with members from each College, selected yesterday the semi-finalists for both the ERP and the Advancement RFP which were issued on August 10, 2016.

Six companies submitted proposals for a new Advancement system. The three semi-finalists who will demonstrate their product at the end of October, are:
– Blackbaud
– Oracle
– roundCorner / Salesforce

Seven companies submitted proposals for a new ERP system (covering Student, Finance and Human Resources). Four-semi-finalists where chosen to demonstrate their products at the end of October:
– CampusManagement
– Oracle
– Unit4
– Workday

More information about the project can be found here.

Coffee, Water and Condiment Contract – W.B. Mason

September 1, 2015

Dear Colleagues:

The Green Mountain Higher Education Consortium (GMHEC) members Champlain College, Middlebury College, and Saint Michael’s College, are continuing efforts to obtain cost savings for the three institutions while adding benefits for all. Recently, GMHEC went through a request for proposal for coffee, water and condiments.  We received four proposals. After reviewing and vetting the proposals through a detailed process, we awarded the contract to W.B. Mason thus lowering the prices that were previously available on W.B. Mason.

The contract gives the Colleges at least 15% savings on coffee (Green Mountain Coffee k-cups at $10.24 and rental of coffee machines is free) and up to 58% on condiments with a 2 year price guarantee.  Using W.B. Mason for both Office Supplies and Coffee/Condiments simplifies ordering for you and streamlines the payment process for Accounts Payable.

Anyone who needs to order coffee, water or condiments but does not yet have an account with W.B. Mason: please contact Fran Estes at Champlain College, Matt Curran at Middlebury College and Janet Post at Saint Michael’s College.

Please note: For water coolers, Middlebury College is staying with Misty Meadows to support a small, local, family-owned business. If you need a plumbed in water cooler, W.B. Mason is the vendor of choice though as Misty Meadows does not provide them. More information on Misty Meadows can be found at Middlebury College’s purchasing website.

New Office Supply and Paper Vendor – W.B. Mason

March 6, 2015

Members of the Green Mountain Higher Education Consortium (GMHEC)—Champlain College, Middlebury College, and Saint Michael’s College—are continuing efforts to obtain institutional cost savings while also adding benefits.

Recently, GMHEC requested proposals for office supplies. We received five proposals, and after carefully reviewing and vetting them, we selected two finalist: W.B. Mason and Office Depot (formally OfficeMax).  We then requested W.B. Mason to give a presentation, since using this company would be a change for two of the institutions.  We invited colleagues from the academic, purchasing and sustainability offices of the three institutions to attend the presentation, which included information on value-added initiatives, ease of website use, delivery options and customer service. It also allowed participants to ask questions related to product ordering, reporting, and best practices.

After witnessing the successful presentation and going over of the overall contract terms, members of GMHEC recommended selecting W.B. Mason for all three institutions.  W. B. Mason provides the lowest market-basket pricing on the products we order and offers a paid internship to one student for each school per year. We also considered the overall service and ease of website use.

Champlain College and Middlebury College have now implemented the W.B. Mason contract, as has the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, Middlebury in D.C., and the Language School offices at Mills College.  Saint Michael’s College’s account has been updated to the new pricing.

To sustain the low prices we negotiated, we will now place all office-supply orders through W.B. Mason only. The accounts with OfficeMax, Office Depot, Staples, and Palace Art have been closed.  And we ask that you don’t use other vendors, such as Amazon, Costco, or Walmart.

Anyone who needs to order office supplies or paper but does not yet have an account: please contact Fran Estes at Champlain College, Matt Curran at Middlebury College and Janet Post at Saint Michael’s College.

First Consortium Win: J.P. Morgan purchasing card contract

July 1, 2014

The Consortium is announcing it’s first win: J.P. Morgan Chase was selected as the purchasing card (p-card) provider for the three member colleges. Middlebury College and Saint Michael’s College already had a relationship with J.P. Morgan Chase. A new contract provided for better rebates for both colleges and extended the relationship to Champlain College which to that point did not have a purchasing card. The purchasing card managers of Saint Michael’s College and Middlebury College were instrumental in helping Champlain College implement their purchasing program. This exemplifies another great benefit of the Consortium – collaboration.

Colleges will work together to help control costs

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. — Three Vermont private colleges have announced they plan to form a consortium to reduce costs associated with purchasing supplies and services common to all three institutions.

The chief financial officers of Middlebury College, Champlain College and Saint Michael’s College will direct the creation of the Green Mountain Higher Education Consortium (GMHEC). The group’s focus is to find common areas and ways to increase effectiveness and efficiency when purchasing supplies, and other business and administrative services common to all three institutions. Similar consortia exist in other areas of the country including Boston and Amherst, Mass., and Claremont, Calif. These partnerships have proven to be beneficial forums for sharing ideas and collaborating.

“We are simply envisioning ways to improve our efficiencies and help drive down administrative costs in areas common to all three colleges,” said David J. Provost, senior vice president for finance and administration at Champlain College. “A consortium will allow us to pool our purchasing power and significantly reduce costs at each college.”

“The consortium has the potential to slow rising administrative costs by leveraging the combined buying power of the three colleges, and by sharing common administrative services. Our intention is to create a successful consortium that will address the issue of cost over the long term,” said Patrick Norton, vice president for finance and treasurer at Middlebury College.

Neal E. Robinson, vice president for finance at Saint Michael’s College, added, “I very much look forward to working with our friends at Champlain and Middlebury. The consortium gives us the platform to accomplish many things that would not be possible otherwise.”

Both Saint Michael’s and Champlain have about 2,000 traditional undergraduate students and Middlebury has 2,450 students. Through cooperative planning efforts, the three colleges expect to directly address areas of rising costs and continue to strive to make higher education accessible and affordable to all students.

* * * * * * * *

About Champlain College
Since 1878, Champlain College has provided career-focused education to students from its hilltop campus in Burlington, Vt. Champlain’s distinctive educational approach embodies the notion that true learning only occurs when information and experience come together to create knowledge. Champlain offers traditional undergraduate and online undergraduate courses, along with online certificate and degree programs and eight master’s degree programs. Champlain offers study abroad programs at its campuses in Montreal, Quebec and Dublin, Ireland. Champlain College is included in the Princeton Review’s The Best 377 Colleges: 2013 Edition. Champlain was named a “Top-Up-and-Coming School” by U.S. News & World Report’s America’s Best Colleges and is ranked in the top tier of 2013 Regional Colleges in the North. For more information, visit

About Middlebury College

Middlebury College, one of the country’s leading liberal arts colleges, offers a rigorous liberal arts curriculum that is particularly strong in languages, international studies, environmental studies, sciences and literature. About 2,450 students attend Middlebury, which was founded in 1800 and is located in the town of Middlebury in Vermont’s Champlain Valley. With the Green Mountains to the east and the Adirondacks to the west, Middlebury has established itself as a leader in campus environmental initiatives, with an accompanying educational focus on environmental issues around the globe. The college’s strong international dimension has extended its borders beyond Addison County, and includes Middlebury’s Language Schools, Schools Abroad, Bread Loaf School of English, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and the Monterey Institute for International Studies. For more information, visit

About Saint Michael’s College

Saint Michael’s College, the Edmundite Catholic liberal arts college, provides education with a social conscience, producing graduates with the intellectual tools to lead successful, purposeful lives that will contribute to peace and justice in our world. Founded in 1904 by the Society of St. Edmund and headed by President John J. Neuhauser, Saint Michael’s College is located three miles from Burlington, Vt., one of America’s top college towns. Identified by the Princeton Review, 2013 as one of the nation’s Best 377 Colleges, and included in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2013, Saint Michael’s has 1,900 undergraduate students and 500 graduate students. Saint Michael’s students and professors have received Rhodes, Woodrow Wilson, Pickering, Guggenheim, Fulbright, and other grants. The college is one of the nation’s top-100, Best Liberal Arts Colleges as listed in the 2013 U.S. News & World Report rankings.  For more information, visit

For more information:

Stephen Mease, Champlain College
802-865-6432 or

Alex Bertoni, Saint Michael’s College
802.654.2536 or

Sarah Ray, Middlebury College
802-443-5794 or