Bush named American Council on Education Fellow

Contact: Deanne Puca
Photo of Dr. Jonathan Bush.


KALAMAZOO, Mich.−Western Michigan University's Dr. Jonathan Bush has been named an American Council on Education Fellow for the 2015-16 academic year, Molly Corbett Broad, ACE president, announced March 25.

Bush, chair and professor in the Department of English, was named an interim associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences in February. He was one of 47 emerging college and university leaders selected by ACE this year.

Fellows are nominated by their presidents and chancellors and selected following a rigorous application process. 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.

ACE Fellows Program

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.

The program combines retreats, interactive learning opportunities, visits to campuses and other higher education-related organizations, and placement at another higher education institution to condense years of on-the-job experience and skills development into a single year.

During the placement, fellows observe and work with the president and other senior officers at their host institution, attend decision-making meetings and focus on issues of interest. Fellows also conduct projects of pressing concern for their home institution and seek to implement their findings upon completion of the fellowship year. At the conclusion of the fellowship year, fellows return to their home institution with new knowledge and skills that contribute to capacity-building efforts.

Bush says he is still considering placement options, and he expects a decision in the early summer.

"My focus is student success, particularly students who achieve success coming from a low profile," he says. "I am looking forward to learning as much as I can about higher education, and I am excited to shadow university leaders from across the country. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

Since its inception, nearly 2,000 higher education leaders have participated in the fellows program, 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.

The ACE Fellows Program is celebrating its 50th anniversary this academic year. ACE's 97th Annual Meeting earlier this month featured a number of activities and sessions focusing on the program, and the commemoration will continue in June at the Council of Fellows Weekend in Washington, D.C.

Jonathan Bush

Bush joined the WMU faculty in 2001 and has served as department chair since 2011. He also is director of the Third Coast Writing Project and coordinator of WMU's developmental writing program. He is co-author of two books on teaching English at the high school and middle school levels and he has published widely in English education and composition studies. He currently serves on the College Board's Advanced Placement English Language and Composition Development Committee. He is also a public affairs officer in the Navy Reserve.

He earned a bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University, a master's degree from Northwestern State University of Louisiana and a doctoral degree from Purdue University.

"The ACE Fellows Program enters its second half-century committed to further growing and strengthening the nation's premier higher education leadership development program," ACE's Molly Corbett Broad says. "The diverse and talented 2015-16 Fellows class embodies why the program has been such a vital contributor to expanding the leadership pipeline for our colleges and universities." 

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