Established in 1965, the ACE Fellows Program is designed to strengthen institutions and leadership in American higher education by identifying and preparing faculty and staff for senior positions in college and university administration through its distinctive and intensive nominator-driven, cohort-based mentorship model. Forty-six Fellows, nominated by the senior administration of their institutions, were selected this year following a rigorous application process.
Prior to leading the Educational Leadership Doctoral Program, Dr. Norman served as Interim Chair for the Department of Educational Administration, Leadership and Research and Associate Dean for Accountability and Research in WKU’s College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, as well as Assistant Dean for Assessment and Accountability in the College of Education and Human Services at Longwood University in Virginia. Before entering full-time administration, Dr. Norman moved through the faculty ranks in WKU’s Department of Psychology where he holds tenure as a full professor.
“Most of us in administrative roles begin with little leadership training and have to learn by trial and error,” Dr. Norman said. “As I considered ways to grow in my leadership ability, I had been eyeing the ACE Fellows Program opportunity for several years, but there never seemed to be the perfect time to apply. Of course, right now was no different, but this year the Proverb kept coming to mind, ‘If you watch the wind, you will never sow; if you look at the clouds, you will never reap.’ So I tested the idea of applying on several mentors and leaders here at WKU and was overwhelmed by their enthusiastic support.”
Dr. Norman said he was “grateful for those who supported my application and am certainly honored to have been selected. Beyond that, I am excited about working alongside and observing a president and provost at another institution toward the goals of furthering my understanding of leadership and then bringing back what I have learned to serve WKU more effectively, and, perhaps, in a new capacity.”
Nearly 1,900 higher education leaders have participated in the ACE Fellows Program over the past five decades, with more than 80 percent of Fellows having gone on to serve as senior leaders of colleges and universities. 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 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.
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.
About ACE: Founded in 1918, ACE is the major coordinating body for all the nation's higher education institutions, representing nearly 1,800 college and university presidents and related associations. It provides leadership on key higher education issues and influences public policy through advocacy. For information, visit www.acenet.edu or follow ACE on Twitter @ACEducation.
Contact: Tony Norman, (270) 745-3061