L to R: Ted Mitchell, ACE president; Deborah Frey, vice president of analytics, marketing and strategy at Fidelity Investments; Denise A. Battles, SUNY Geneseo president and chair of ACE's Council of Fellows; Mentor Award recipient Stanley Preczewski, president of Riverside Military Academy; Sherri Hughes, ACE assistant vice president. (Image provided)
President Denise A. Battles recently assumed the role of chair of the American Council on Education’s (ACE) Council of Fellows, an elected position. The Council of Fellows comprises alumni of the ACE Fellows Program, the longest-running leadership development program in the United States that prepares senior leaders for service in American colleges and universities.
The Council of Fellows provides continued professional development opportunities for its members. The Fellows immerse themselves for a year in the culture, policies, and decision-making processes of other institutions.
Battles has held increasingly prominent leadership positions in the council, having served most recently as the vice chair/chair-elect from 2017–19. She has also served as both a board and executive committee member. Battles served as an ACE Fellow from 2000–01 at Auburn University under the mentorship of then-president William V. Muse.
As chair, Battles presides over all meetings of the Council of Fellows and its Board and Executive Committee. The chair collaborates with ACE leadership and serves as an advocate for the Fellows Program to the ACE president. The chair also participates in the presentation of the Council of Fellows Mentor of the Year Award, which is bestowed annually to acknowledge the substantial role of mentors in the ACE Fellows Program participants.
“I am privileged to continue to serve in a leadership role in this influential and highly effective organization,” said Battles. “Higher education now finds itself in unprecedentedly dynamic times, and it is vital that we cultivate and prepare the next generation of college and university leaders to meet those challenges successfully. Geneseo is an exemplar of a public liberal arts college for the 21st century, and I value the Council of Fellows for our shared commitment to high expectations and exceptional outcomes.”
Since its inception in 1965, the ACE Fellows Program has prepared more than 2,000 individuals for senior positions in college and university leadership through a distinctive, cohort-based mentorship model. Of the Fellows who have participated to date, more than 80 percent have gone on to serve as deans, chief executive officers, chief academic officers, and in other cabinet-level positions.