David Stone, associate vice president for research at NIU, has been selected 31 emerging college and university leaders for the 2014-15 class of the American Council on Education’s ACE Fellows Program.
Established in 1965, the ACE Fellows Program – the longest running leadership development program in the United States – focuses on identifying and preparing the next generation of senior leadership for the nation’s colleges and universities.
Nearly 2,000 higher education leaders have participated in the ACE Fellows Program since its inception, with more than 300 Fellows having served as chief executive officers of colleges or universities and more than 1,300 having served as provosts, vice presidents and deans.
“For nearly 50 years, the ACE Fellows Program has transformed lives and cultivated future leaders,” said Joan Wodiska, ACE vice president and chief leadership officer. “The ACE Fellows Program is unique. The program immerses Fellows in learning experiences to gain insight and understanding into the changing environment of higher education.”
Stone joined NIU in 2006 as director of the Office of Sponsored Projects. In 2010, he was named associate vice president for research. Two years later, he added administrative responsibility for the Office of Research Compliance and Integrity and support of research operations. He also was appointed that year as an associate professor of public health with tenure in the School of Nursing and Health Studies.
The ACE Fellows 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 concern.
Fellows conduct projects of pressing concern for their home institution and seek to implement their findings upon completion of the fellowship year. Projects have included developing an internationalization process, designing a post-tenure review policy, strategizing to create 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. Wodiska noted the diversity of this year’s Fellows Program participants, by gender, race/ethnicity, institution type and disciplinary background.
“The very fact that such a diverse group has assembled in one program enhances every Fellow’s experience and will result in a far-reaching professional and learning network, one that will last well beyond the year of the fellowship,” Wodiska said.
Among the 2014-15 class are five individuals partially sponsored by Council of Fellows Fund for the Future grants. These grants provide stipends to defray expenses for institutions unable to afford the cost of sponsoring an ACE Fellow through financial support from the ACE Fellows Program alumni organization.
The class has a rich array of geographies and institutional missions, including three Fellows from Historically Black Colleges and Universities, one from a Hispanic-Serving Institution and another from a community college.