Erick Howenstine

Friday, April 7, 2017

The American Council on Education (ACE) has announced that Northeastern Illinois University’s Erick Howenstine, chair of the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, has been named an ACE Fellow for the 2017-18 academic year.

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.

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."

In addition to his role as department chair, Howenstine serves as chair of the Faculty Senate and is a former Presidential Fellow.

“As a former ACE Fellow myself, I know what a tremendous honor this is, and I am very happy that ACE has selected one of our own to participate in this unique and prestigious program,” Interim President Richard Helldobler said.

Howenstine earned his Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Washington and has earned several degrees from Southern Illinois University that include a master's in geography, master's in journalism, a bachelor's in journalism and a bachelor's in advertising.

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 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.

Erick Howenstine