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EIU Apprenticeship Prepares Professor for Administrative Duties

Sep-11-2013

As thousands of traditional students settle into a new semester of study at Eastern Illinois University, a student of a different kind is also learning his way around campus.

Jose Antonio Rosa, professor of marketing and sustainable business practices at the University of Wyoming, will spend the academic year at Eastern as one of 50 2013-14 American Council on Education (ACE) Fellows.

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

Rosa, who was nominated for the ACE Fellows Program by Myron Allen, a colleague and then-provost at UW, said this coming year of intense training at EIU will give him a headstart toward his goals when he returns to the Laramie campus.

“When I go back, I’ll be able to step into an administrative role,” he said.  “I expect to learn much from this apprenticeship.”

As an ACE Fellow at Eastern, Rosa will be included in the highest level of decision making while participating in administrative activities.  The year-long learning experience will combine observation and participation with an individualized Fellowship project on an issue of key strategic importance.

All of this will be done under the mentorship of Eastern’s top administrators – Bill Perry, president of Eastern Illinois University, and Blair Lord, provost and vice president for academic affairs.

Rosa’s office is housed in the Office of Academic Affairs, located on the first floor of Old Main, the university’s administrative building.  There, he will be close to Lord who, as a former ACE Fellow himself, has a full understanding of the program and its goals.

The provost acknowledged that the presence of an ACE Fellow on EIU’s campus was a win-win for both sides.

As Rosa hones his administrative skills, Lord said, “(EIU) will benefit by having an individual on board who can offer different perspectives and expertise to the issues at hand.

“In some ways, it will be like getting a trained consultant without paying the whole salary,” he added.

As an ACE Fellow nominated by his home institution, Rosa will continue to collect his customary wage and benefits from UW.  As the host institution, Eastern pays a participation fee to ACE and provides Rosa with a professional development budget.

In addition to the on-the-job experience and skills development, Rosa will attend retreats and national meetings specifically designed for program participants.

ACE Fellows’ subsequent successes in leadership positions testify to the value of the program.  Of more than 1,800 former Fellows, more than 300 have served as presidents of colleges and universities.  More than 1,000 Fellows have held the position of vice president or vice chancellor, and more than 1,100 have served as dean.

Finally, 80 percent of former Fellows -- including Provost Lord -- have indicated that the program was a decisive factor in their choosing to assume a significant leadership role.