URI professor named American Council on Education Fellow

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WASHINGTON — March 29, 2012 — University of Rhode Island film professor Sheri Wills has been named an American Council on Education Fellow for the 2012-13 academic year, Molly Corbett Broad, president of the council, announced Wednesday.

Wills, the director of the film/media program in the University’s Harrington School of Communication and Media is honored by her selection.

“The ACE Fellows program provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for leadership development, and I’m very happy to have been selected,” she said.

Her work has been exhibited around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the London Film Festival and the International Film Festival in Rotterdam and is featured in the Rizzoli book, Sonic Graphics: Seeing Sound, by Matt Woolman.

Wills holds a master of fine art in filmmaking and a master’s degree in art history, theory and criticism, both from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

The ACE Fellows Program, established in 1965, is designed to strengthen institutions and leadership in American higher education by identifying and preparing promising senior faculty and administrators for responsible positions in college and university administration.

“The issues we are dealing with in higher education are profound — exceptionally challenging, but also fascinating and rich with potential,” Wills said. “I am looking forward to deepening my understanding of these issues and broadening my approach to leadership — and then bringing my knowledge back to URI.”

Fifty-seven Fellows, nominated by the presidents or chancellors of their institutions, were selected this year following a rigorous application process.

Sharon A. McDade, director of the ACE Fellows Program, noted that most previous Fellows have advanced into major positions in academic administration. Of the more than 1,700 participants in the first 47 years of the program, more than 300 have become chief executive officers and more than 1,100 have become provosts, vice presidents, or deans.

“We’re extremely pleased with the strength of the incoming class,” McDade said. “The Fellows Program will sharpen and enhance their leadership skills and their network, and prepare them to address issues of concern to the higher education community.”

Each ACE Fellow will focus on an issue of concern to the nominating institution while spending the next academic year working with a college or university president and other senior officers at a host institution. The ACE Fellows Program combines retreats, 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. The Fellows are included in the highest level of decision making while participating in administrative activities and learning about an issue to benefit URI.

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.

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 provides leadership on key higher education issues and influences public policy through advocacy. For more information, please visit www.acenet.edu or follow ACE on Twitter @ACEducation.