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New ACE Directors, Programs Highlight Ongoing Focus on Leadership Initiatives

June 12, 2012


Following the 2011 reorganization of its leadership programs, ACE has hired directors for the Inclusive Excellence and Executive Leadership groups and this summer will launch two programs for senior and emerging administrators, reflecting the Council’s continued emphasis on the professional development of campus leaders and greater inclusivity in higher education.

“ACE is reaffirming its emphasis on creating engaging and practical programs for senior campus leaders, while energizing the networks we’ve developed over the years,” said Gretchen M. Bataille, senior vice president for Leadership and Lifelong Learning. “Our work represents a dynamic approach to addressing two key higher education issues: identifying and encouraging leaders that represent diverse communities and helping equip them with the skills they need to continue to grow, advance and strengthen the entire higher education landscape.”

New Staff Appointees

Jamie Comstock, who will direct the Executive Leadership Group, comes to ACE from Butler University in Indianapolis, IN, where she is a professor of organizational communication and leadership and on sabbatical from her role as provost and vice president of academic affairs.

As provost at Butler, her duties included facilitating a campus-wide process to create a university strategic plan, co-chairing a facilities master planning process and overseeing the growth and development of new academic programs, enhanced local partnerships and expanded international initiatives. Comstock also served as Butler’s interim president during the summers of 2009 and 2011. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Illinois State University and a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Arizona. Comstock also has worked for Millikin University (IL), Baker University (KS), Saint Louis University (MO) and the University of West Florida, Pensacola. She will begin at ACE on Sept. 4.

Kim Bobby, who will lead the Inclusive Excellence Group, comes to ACE from the University of Puget Sound (WA), where she served as chief diversity officer and associate professor of education.

At Puget Sound, she was responsible for creating and implementing the institution’s strategic plan for diversity, among other duties. Her signature initiatives include the Diversity Advisory Council, which convenes individuals from across campus to focus on diversity and innovation. Bobby holds a bachelor’s degree from California State University (CSU), Fresno; a master’s from CSU, Sacramento; and a doctorate in education from the University of Washington. She also worked for Golden Gate University (CA) and the City of New York, and served as an educational consultant for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Bobby will begin her work at ACE July 16.

“We’re so pleased to have two established individuals in the field join our staff in this exciting time,” said Diana Córdova, ACE assistant vice president for Leadership Programs. “Jamie Comstock and Kim Bobby have impressive backgrounds as leaders and conveners, and they will accomplish great things for ACE and the higher education community.”

An Array of New Programs

The Institute for New Presidents, designed specifically for presidents in their first two years of service, kicks off its inaugural 2012-13 class this summer with a July 23-25 meeting in suburban Washington, DC. The Institute is a nine-month program that will consist of three in-person meetings complemented by a series of webinars. It will enable new higher education leaders to engage with seasoned colleagues, forge connections with fellow new presidents and benefit from ACE’s leadership and expertise. Topics to be addressed include how to work effectively with key constituencies, assemble strong administrative teams and work effectively with boards.

The inaugural session of the ACE Leadership Academy for Department Chairs meets July 11-12 at Miami University (OH). The Academy builds on the legacy of ACE's longtime Department Chairs Workshop to engage chairs in a yearlong community of learning. Following the in-person workshop in Ohio, the Academy will use webinar sessions and Blackboard-based resources to foster collegial exchanges and to focus on the department chair not only as a unit leader but also as an academic leader in service to the institution and its mission.

MEDIA CONTACT: Jonathan Riskind ▪ 202-939-9453 ▪

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