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FAU Dean Selected as ACE Fellow: A Promising Leader to Strengthen Higher Education Institutions

Naelys Luna

The American Council on Education (ACE) has chosen Dr. Heather Coltman, Dean of the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters at Florida Atlantic University (FAU), as an ACE Fellow for academic year 2021-2022. The ACE Fellows Program 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.

Dr. Coltman is one of 52 ACE Fellows for the academic year and will spend the upcoming academic year working closely with a college or university president and other senior officers at a host institution. The program also provides the opportunity to attend retreats, seminars, and other events to increase the knowledge and skills needed to lead higher education institutions effectively.

“I am thrilled to be named an ACE Fellow and to have the opportunity to learn from some of the most accomplished higher education leaders in the country,” said Dr. Coltman. “I am looking forward to expanding my leadership skills and bringing new ideas back to FAU.”

Dr. Coltman has served as the Dean of the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters at FAU since 2018. Prior to joining FAU, she served as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at California State University, Chico, and as a professor of music. Dr. Coltman earned her Ph.D. in musicology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The ACE Fellows Program has been in operation for over five decades and has prepared over 2,000 individuals for senior leadership roles in higher education. Dr. John Barnshaw, President of ACE, said, “The ACE Fellows Program is a unique, transformative experience that prepares leaders to address challenges and make strategic decisions in higher education. We’re excited to welcome another exceptional cohort of Fellows and look forward to supporting them as they expand their knowledge, skills, and networks.”

FAU Provost Bret Danilowicz said, “We are proud of Dr. Coltman’s selection as an ACE Fellow and look forward to the valuable insights and experience she will bring back to FAU. We’re confident that this experience will enhance her ability to provide leadership to our university and the broader academic community.”

The ACE Fellows Program is open to U.S. citizens and permanent residents who have at least five years of full-time experience in higher education. The program also requires the endorsement of the candidate’s senior leadership, a commitment from the candidate’s home institution to provide support during the fellowship, and the availability of adequate financial resources.

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