Cousins, Hearit named American Council on Education Fellows

Contact: Cheryl Roland
Photo of Dr. Linwood .


KALAMAZOO—Two Western Michigan University professors have been named American Council on Education fellows for the 2013-14 academic year, Molly Corbett Broad, ACE president, announced March 19.

Dr. Linwood Cousins, director of the School of Social Work, and Dr. Keith M. Hearit, professor of communication, were among just 50 senior faculty members and administrators from around the nation named to be part of the prestigious program.

Fellows are nominated by their presidents and chancellors and selected following a rigorous application process. Only WMU and three other U.S. schools had two of its faculty members selected. The others are Purdue and Ohio State universities and the University of Texas at Arlington.

Established in 1965, the ACE Fellows Program strengthens institutions and leadership in American higher education by identifying and preparing promising senior faculty and administrators for responsible positions in college and university administration.

The program, in which participants work with executives at colleges other than those that employ them, is known as a stepping stone to top positions in higher education. Since its inception, more than 300 ACE fellows have gone on to become college or university presidents, and more than 1,300 have become provosts, vice presidents or deans.

Dr. Linwood Cousins

Cousins rejoined the School of Social Work faculty in 2009. Earlier in his career, he served as assistant professor from 1994 to 1999. After leaving the school, Cousins served as associate professor of anthropology at Kalamazoo College, associate professor and interim chair in the social work department at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and professor and chair of the Department of Social Work and Communications Sciences and Disorders at Longwood University in Virginia. He earned bachelor's and master's degrees from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1981 and 1985, respectively, and a second master's degree in 1991 and doctoral degree in 1994, both from the University of Michigan.

Photo of Dr. Keith .


Dr. Keith M. Hearit

Hearit most recently served as WMU's vice provost for strategic enrollment management for five years. Prior to that, he was dean and associate dean of the Lee Honors College. He has been a WMU faculty member since 1996. Before coming to WMU, Hearit taught at Northern Illinois University, Indiana University at Kokomo and Purdue University. He is an expert in crisis communication and issue management and is the author of a book on corporate response to allegations of wrongdoing. Hearit earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from Central Michigan University in 1986 and 1988, respectively, and he completed his doctoral degree at Purdue in 1992.

About ACE

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 semester or year. Each ACE fellow will focus on an issue of concern to his or her home institution while spending the next academic year working with a college or university president and other senior officers at a host institution.

ACE fellows also attend three week-long retreats on higher education issues organized by ACE, read extensively in the field and engage in other activities to enhance their knowledge about the challenges and opportunities confronting higher education today.

Founded in 1918, ACE is the major coordinating body for all the nation's higher education institutions, representing more than 1,600 college and university presidents, and more than 200 related associations nationwide. It provides leadership on key higher education issues and influences public policy through advocacy.