Molly Corbett Broad, President of the American Council on Education (ACE) recently announced that Marie Y. Williams, Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer at Fisk University has been named an ACE Fellow for 2009-10 academic year.
The ACE Fellows Program, established in 1965, is designed to strengthen institutions and leadership in higher education by identifying and preparing promising senior faculty and administrators for responsible positions in college and university administration. Ms. Williams who was nominated for the fellowship by Fisk President, Hazel R. O’Leary, is one of thirty-eight (38) Fellows selected this year in a national competition.
“We are honored to have one of Fisk’s most talented administrators participate in the ACE Fellowship program,” O’Leary said. “While Fisk has hosted and provided a fellow in the past, Ms. Williams is the first Fisk administrator to participate and we are certain that she will bring valuable experiences back to Fisk.”
The ACE Fellows program combines seminars, interactive learning opportunities, campus visits and placement at another higher education institution to condense years of on-the-job experience and skills development into a single semester or year. Fellows attend three week long retreats on higher education issues organized by ACE, read extensively in the field and engage in other activities to enhance their knowledge about the challenges and opportunities confronting higher education today. The Fellows are included in the highest level of decision making while participating in administrative activities and learning about an issue to benefit Fisk University and the host institution.
Ms. Williams has worked at Fisk University since 2001 and has been extensively involved in a wide array of senior administrative functions at the University. In her most recent role as the Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, Ms. Williams provides leadership for the following functions at Fisk: Administrative Services, Human Resources, Facilities & Grounds, Public Safety, Environmental Health, Bookstore, Campus Dining Services, Post Office and Master Planning.
“It is truly an honor to be nominated to participate in this renowned leadership development program in higher education. I am grateful for the University’s support throughout this process and for the transformational learning experiences that await me. This nomination by President O’Leary demonstrates Fisk’s commitment to enhance the faculty and administrative talent at the University.”
The ACE Fellows Program notes that most previous Fellows have advanced into major positions in academic administration. Of more than 1,500 participants in the first 44 years of the program, more than 300 have become chief executive officers and more than 1,100 have become provosts, vice presidents, or deans.
“Ms. Williams shows great promise for administrative advancement and significant future leadership contributions to higher education” said Sharon A. McDade, Director of ACE Fellows Program.
Founded in 1918, ACE is the major coordinating body for all the nation’s higher education institutions, representing more than 1,600 college and university presidents, and more than 200 related associations, nationwide. It seeks to provide leadership and a unifying voice on key higher education issues and influence public policy through advocacy, research, and program initiatives.
Since its membership with ACE, Fisk has successfully graduated two esteemed faculty through this Program: Dr. Princilla Morris-Evans and Dr. Phyllis Freeman-Junior. Ms. Williams will be the first administrator that has been nominated by Fisk and selected into the ACE Fellows Program.