• WSCUC Webinar Offers Critical Insights for Navigating Third-Party Agreements

    March 7, 2024 - WSCUC

Agreements with third-party service providers, when properly designed and overseen, can support institutional goals, operations, and outcomes. Yet third-party contracts often come with considerable risks and challenges.

To help institutional leaders evaluate, develop and manage third-party agreements, WSCUC hosted a panel discussion featuring leading institutional, law, and policy experts. The February 22 webinar, Third-Party Agreements: Risk Assessment, Negotiation & Quality Control, was presented in partnership with national think tank ITHAKA S+R and welcomed higher education professionals from across the country.

The session explored the ‘whether, why, and how’ of third-party agreements with Mary Marcy, WSCUC Commissioner and President Emerita of Dominican University of California; TICAS President Sameer Gadkaree; Kate Lee Carey, special counsel, Cooley LLP, and Paul Pastorek, partner, Civic Solutions Group, and former President, University of Arizona Global Campus. WSCUC President Jamienne S. Studley and Martin Kurzweil, Vice President of Educational Transformation at Ithaka S+R, moderated the event.

“As an accreditor committed to quality and accountability, WSCUC welcomed the opportunity to provide insights and practical strategies for critically assessing and effectively navigating third-party agreements,” said President Studley.

The U.S. Department of Education issued updated guidance for third-party service providers last year, broadening the definition of third-party servicers to include online program managers and other external contractors. The guidance was rescinded after higher education leaders raised objections, citing concerns with the substantial compliance efforts required by institutions, among other issues. Updated Department guidance is anticipated later this year.

A recording of the webinar is available here.