ACE Names 45 Emerging Higher Education Leaders to ACE Fellows Program
March 21, 2018

ACE has selected 45 emerging college and university leaders for the 2018-19 class of the ACE Fellows Program, the longest-running leadership development program in the United States.

Since its inception in 1965, the ACE Fellows Program has strengthened institutions in American higher education by identifying and preparing nearly 1,900 faculty, staff, and administrators for senior positions in college and university leadership through its distinctive and intensive nominator-driven, cohort-based mentorship model. Of the Fellows who have participated to date, more than 80 percent have gone on to serve as chief executive officers, chief academic officers, other cabinet-level positions, and deans following their fellowship.

“For more than a half-century, the ACE Fellows Program has been a powerful engine fueling the expansion of a talented and diverse higher education leadership pipeline,” said ACE President Ted Mitchell. “We are excited to welcome this new class of Fellows and look forward to each enjoying a transformative experience that will help advance individual leadership readiness while also enriching the capacity of institutions to innovate and thrive.”​

The 2018-19 Fellows Class represents the diversity of U.S. higher education by gender, race/ethnicity, institution type, and disciplinary background. Half the members are women and 17 identify as minorities.

The class also signifies a wide array of geographies and institutional missions, including colleges and universities from Maine to Hawaii, and community colleges, military academies, regional public universities, private liberal arts colleges, and state flagship universities. It also includes Fellows from three Historically Black Colleges and Universities, two Hispanic-Serving Institutions, three faith-based institutions, seven land-grant institutions, and one international institution.

"The members of the 2018-19 class of ACE Fellows have a rich and diverse background of experience in higher education and have served their institutions with distinction,” said Sherri Lind Hughes, assistant vice president, ACE Leadership. “I am eager to give them the opportunity to work beside accomplished presidents and engage with scholars and experts in higher education leadership so they can return to their campuses better prepared to help their institutions in these challenging times.”

Six members of the class are partially sponsored by Council of Fellows Fund for the Future grants. This financial support from the ACE Fellows alumni organization provides stipends to defray costs for institutions unable to afford the cost of sponsoring a Fellow. Two Fellows will also be supported by Fidelity Investments Fellowship for Leadership Development Institutional grants.

The program combines retreats, interactive learning opportunities, visits to campuses and other higher education-related organizations, and placement at another higher education institution to condense years of on-the-job experience and skills development into a single year.

During the placement, Fellows observe and work with the president and other senior officers at their host institution, attend decision-making meetings, and focus on issues of interest. Fellows also conduct projects of pressing concern for their home institution and seek to implement their findings upon completion of the fellowship placement. Projects have included developing an internationalization process, designing a post-tenure review policy, creating a teaching-learning center, and crafting an initiative to support the academic success of first-generation college students.

At the conclusion of the fellowship year, Fellows return to their home institution with new knowledge and skills that contribute to capacity-building efforts, along with a network of peers across the country and abroad. ​