Valerie Kinloch, the Renée and Richard Goldman Dean of the University of Pittsburgh School of Education, has been selected to join the 2021-22 class of the highly prestigious American Council on Education (ACE) Fellows Program.
The ACE Fellows Program is the longest-running, cohort-based higher education leadership development program in the United States. Many of its alumni are now university presidents and provosts.
“To be selected as an ACE Fellow is a tremendous honor, and I am looking forward to having an opportunity to engage, connect, and think with other higher education leaders and administrators across multiple institutions,” says Kinloch. “The fellowship experience will allow me to deepen my perspectives on, and approaches to, current, emerging, and ongoing institutional challenges facing higher education institutions in the country. My hope is to apply this knowledge to further strengthen administrative capacity, implement strategic and academic priorities, and enhance philanthropic engagements, especially with regards to our Pitt School of Education.”
Acceptance into the ACE Fellows Program is extremely competitive at the national level. The 2021-22 cohort has 52 college and university leaders. Eleanor Feingold, executive associate dean of the Graduate School of Public Health, was also selected from Pitt.
Pitt Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor Ann E. Cudd nominated Kinloch for the ACE Fellows Program, and her nomination was endorsed by Pitt Chancellor Patrick Gallagher.
The ACE Fellowship Program is distinctive for its cohort-based mentorship model. The fellowship combines retreats, interactive learning opportunities, visits to campuses and other higher education-related organizations, and a placement experience at another higher education institution. It is designed to condense years of on-the-job experience and skills development into a single year.
During the placement experience, ACE Fellows will select a university president to serve as their mentor. The fellows will observe and work with the president and other senior officers at their host institution, attend decision-making meetings, and focus on issues of interest.
"ACE Fellows gain career-enriching experience in leadership, innovation, and problem-solving," said ACE President Ted Mitchell in the announcement. "These are just the kind of skill sets that will be absolutely essential for moving higher education forward during difficult times."
Since its inception in 1965, the ACE Fellows Program has prepared more than 2,000 faculty, staff, and administrators. More than 80% of fellows have gone on after their fellowship to serve as chief executive officers, chief academic officers, other cabinet-level positions, and deans.
“I will be participating in the ACE Fellowship with the goal of continuing to build on our School of Education’s commitment to equity and justice across education, health, and human development,” says Kinloch. “The fellowship experience will provide me with additional opportunities, perspectives, and strategies to determine ways to both operationalize and sustain our mission-vision by putting leadership into action.”
Beyond the ACE Fellowship, Kinloch holds several other noteworthy professional appointments. She is considered a leading expert in the interconnected relationships among the literacies, languages, cultures, and community engagements of youth and adults, both inside and outside of schools.
Kinloch has served as dean of the Pitt School of Education since July 1, 2017. Among notable accomplishments are the creation of a new mission-vision and strategic plan for the school, a successful school-wide reorganization, a major renovation to the school’s facilities in Wesley W. Posvar Hall, a far-reaching staff restructuring, and ongoing efforts to increase student and alumni engagement.
Watch the mission-vision video of the Pitt School of Education.