Erick Howenstine, chair of Northeastern Illinois University’s Department of Geography and Environmental Studies and Department of Economics, has returned from his one-year ACE Fellowship experience at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa.
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.
Howenstine was mentored during the 2017-18 academic year by Lehigh President John Simon and Provost Patrick Farrell. Howenstine attended planning meetings at all levels and met with Lehigh leadership throughout the year.
“It was an extraordinary experience at an extraordinary place during an extraordinary period of growth and change,” Howenstine said. “My deep thanks goes to the generosity of President John Simon, Provost Pat Farrell, and everyone I worked with and learned from during this transformative year.”
Lehigh is poised to increase enrollments by 20 percent, create a Health College, hire 100 faculty members, increase research, redesign recruitment, and increase diversity and inclusion.
During the 2017-18 year, Lehigh launched a $1 billion comprehensive campaign, created its first Faculty Senate, underwent accreditation and began building system-wide data analytics. Howenstine attended conferences and visited with presidents and top leadership at dozens of universities and organizations across the country.
Now back at Northeastern, Howenstine continues to chair two departments and is helping the institution improve workflows and implement electronic forms. He is involved with international recruitment and provides geospatial analyses for enrollment and retention.
He was elected to the Faculty Council for Academic Affairs. Prior to his ACE Fellowship, Howenstine was a Presidential Fellow under President Sharon Hahs and served three years as chair of the Faculty Senate.
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.