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ACE Names 46 Emerging Higher Education Leaders to ACE Fellows Program

April 03, 2017


ACE has selected 46 emerging college and university leaders for the 2017-18 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.

The 2017-18 class will kick off its work this fall as ACE prepares to celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2018.

"Fulfilling higher education’s 21st century mission depends upon a visionary, bold and diverse global community of institutional leaders, and the ACE Fellows Program plays a key role in cultivating these leaders,” said ACE President Molly Corbett Broad. "The diverse and talented 2017-18 Fellows Class demonstrates why the program has made such a vital contribution for more than a half century to expanding the leadership pipeline for our colleges and universities."

The 2017-18 Fellows Class represents the diversity of America’s higher education institutions by gender, race/ethnicity, institution type and disciplinary background. More than half the members of the 2017-18 Fellows are women and half are minorities.

The class also has a rich array of geographies and institutional missions, including five Fellows from Historically Black Colleges and Universities, two from Hispanic-Serving Institutions, four from faith-based institutions, three from community colleges and three from international institutions.

Twelve 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 full cost of sponsoring a Fellow. Two Fellows also will be supported by Fidelity Investments Fellowship for Leadership Development Institutional Grants.

"One of the strengths of the ACE Fellows Program experience is the learning community created among class members,” said Sherri Lind Hughes, director, ACE Leadership and a 2002-03 ACE Fellow. “The intensive experience of the program will help this diverse group of faculty and administrators strengthen their leadership skills, expand their networks and prepare to successfully confront the many challenges facing the entire higher education landscape today and in the years to come.”

Click here to see the members of the 2017-18 Class of Fellows.

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.

ACE recently released a report, “Looking Back and Looking Forward: A Review of the ACE Fellows Program,” which shares select findings from a comprehensive review of the program to promote dialogue on the future of college and university leadership.

MEDIA CONTACT: Kelli Meyer ▪ 202-939-9328 ▪​

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