ACE Fellows Program

Funding Agency:
American Council on Education

For more than 55 years, over 2,000 vice presidents, deans, department chairs, faculty, and other emerging leaders have participated in the ACE Fellows Program, a customized learning experience that enables participants to immerse themselves in the study and practice of leadership. Participants experience the culture, policies, and decision-making processes of another institution and bring those learnings back to their home campus.

This unique program condenses years of on-the-job experience and skills development into a single year. As a result, the ACE Fellows Program is the most effective, comprehensive leadership development program in American higher education today. More than 80 percent of ACE Fellows have gone on to serve as chief executive officers, chief academic officers, other cabinet-level positions, and deans.

You can apply to become a Fellow yourself, nominate someone, or mentor a Fellow at your institution. An applicant’s institution must be or become an ACE member and remain in good standing throughout the duration of the Fellowship year.

The president or chief academic officer from any ACE member institution may submit nomination forms for up to two candidates annually for the ACE Fellows Program. Nominations are also accepted from nonmember institutions; however, upon the candidate’s acceptance into the Program, the institution must become a member of ACE. Institutions must be ACE member institutions to nominate a Fellow. Interested applicants from within Duke should contact as early as possible.

Deadline: Nov. 3, 2023

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

Individuals who wish to apply must seek nomination from the president or chief academic officer of their institution. If the institution is not a member of ACE, upon the candidate’s acceptance into the Program, the institution must become a member of ACE. (Those institutions that are not already members can join ACE by contacting the Membership Department.) The nominator agrees to pay the candidate's salary and benefits throughout the duration of the fellowship.

Nominees must demonstrate a record of leadership in an institution-wide context. Successful candidates have held positions such as vice president, dean, department chair, or program director; others have served as unit leaders in student affairs, advancement or admissions.  Senior faculty who have successfully chaired a major committee or faculty senate are also eligible to apply. In seeking a broad representation from across the higher education community, ACE encourages candidates from diverse personal and professional backgrounds, function areas, and institutional sectors.

Funding Type





Social Sciences

External Deadline

November 3, 2023