Hope College will serve as the host site during the spring semester for Dr. Vicki Baker of the Albion College faculty, who is one of only 36 college or university faculty or staff members from around the country chosen to participate in leadership development as a 2023-24 American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow.
Established in 1965, the ACE Fellows Program is designed to strengthen institutional and leadership capacity in American higher education by identifying and preparing faculty and staff for senior positions in college and university administration. Baker, who is a member of the economics and management faculty at Albion College, is nationally recognized for being at the forefront of innovation and strategy in faculty and leadership development.
She will spend the spring of 2024 with Hope’s Office of the Provost, which coordinates Hope’s academic program and supports and has administrative responsibility for the faculty. The experience will be something of a return: As a consultant, she led a series of six professional development workshops for faculty at Hope during the 2022-23 school year.
“I am excited to build upon our engagement with Dr. Baker,” said Dr. Gerald Griffin, who is provost at Hope. “I look forward to merging our interests and expertise to facilitate faculty growth, particularly departmental leaders.”
The ACE Fellows Program combines retreats, interactive learning opportunities, campus visits, and placement at another higher education institution to condense years of on-the-job experience and skills development into a single academic year. The Fellows are included in the highest level of decision-making while participating in administrative activities at their host institutions. They also spend time investigating a specified issue of benefit to their nominating institutions for implementation upon the Fellows’ return to their home institutions at the conclusion of the Fellowship placement.
Baker is the E. Maynard Aris Endowed Professor in Economics and Management at Albion College, where she also chairs the Economics and Management Department and works with special projects through the Albion College Community Collaborative (AC3). She has been recognized as a “Top 100 Visionary” in Education by the Global Forum for Education and Learning (2020-21) and a “Top 10 Visionary in Education in 2023” by CioLook Magazine, and is a Fulbright Specialist Alumna (Utrecht, Netherlands).
She is the author of “Charting Your Path to Full: A Guide for Women Associate Professors” and “Managing Your Academic Career: A Guide to Re-envision Mid-Career”; lead co-author of “Developing Faculty in Liberal Arts Colleges”; lead editor of “Success After Tenure: Supporting Mid-Career Faculty”; and co-edited the New Directions in Higher Education volume, “Bridging the Research-Practice Nexus: Resources, Tools, and Strategies to Navigate Mid-Career in the Academy.” She has written more than 100 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, invited opinion pieces for higher education news media outlets, case studies and blogs on the topics of faculty and leadership development and higher education. Her work has also been featured in national/international media outlets including WalletHub, Times Higher Education, Hechinger Report, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, USA Today, New York Times, Chronicle of Higher Education and the Huffington Post.
Baker is a co-founder of Lead Mentor Develop, which consults with businesses, non-profits, and higher education institutions in the areas of leadership development, training and development, and mentor training, program development and assessment. She has conducted workshops, scholarly presentations, and keynote addresses at professional associations including the Association for the Study of Higher Education, the Council for the Advancement of Higher Education Programs, the American Educational Research Association, and the Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education (POD).
Prior to joining the academy as a faculty member, she worked at Harvard Business School (Executive Education) and AK Steel Corporation. She earned her doctorate in higher education and a Master of Science degree in management and organization from Penn State University; a Master of Business Administration degree from Clarion University of Pennsylvania; and a Bachelor of Science degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She holds a certificate in Human Resource Management from Villanova University, and is a Certified Professional in human resources through the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).
More than 2,000 higher education leaders have participated in the ACE Fellows Program over the past five decades, with more than 80% of Fellows serving as senior leaders of colleges and universities. As announced by the ACE in February, the 2023-24 class represents the diversity of the country’s higher education institutions by gender, race/ethnicity, institution type, and disciplinary background.
“ACE Fellows acquire career-enriching experience in leadership, innovation, and problem-solving, just the kind of skills needed to advance higher education,” said ACE President Ted Mitchell. “The Fellows Program provides institutions and participants the unique opportunity to grow together, and I am excited to see all that this class of Fellows accomplishes.”
“Through the inclusion of Fellows and hosts from a variety of institution types, the program is helping to develop a climate of collaboration across sectors and regions,” Hughes said. “I am confident this diverse and talented group of higher education professionals will help build the leadership capacity necessary to solve complex problems and thrive in a changing landscape.”
Founded in 1918, the American Council on Education is the major coordinating body for all the nation's higher education institutions, representing more than 1,600 college and university presidents and related associations. It provides leadership on key higher education issues and influences public policy through advocacy. More information is available at www.acenet.edu