Chris Meiers, vice chancellor for student affairs and deputy Title IX officer at Washington State University Tri-Cities, was recently selected as one of 38 fellows for the American Council on Education where he will have the opportunity to be temporarily placed at another university to learn and grow his executive leadership skillset.
Since its inception in 1965, the ACE Fellows Program has prepared more than 2,000 faculty, staff, and administrators for senior positions in college and university leadership through its distinctive and intensive nominator-driven, cohort-based mentorship model. Of the fellows who have participated to date, more than 80 percent have gone on to serve as chief executive officers, chief academic officers, other cabinet-level positions, and deans following their fellowship.
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 placement.
Meiers’ placement process begins this summer.
“It is truly a privilege and honor to be selected as an ACE Fellow,” Meiers said. “I am humbled to be able to participate in a program that includes many leaders in higher education that I admire.”
Meiers said his project will involve implementing cooperative education programs with practical work experiences with community partners. Additionally, he will visit universities with strong industry partners.
“This is a key component of the campus’ strategic planning efforts to meet the ongoing workforce demands of the mid-Columbia region,” he said.
At the conclusion of the fellowship year, Meiers will return to WSU Tri-Cities and work with the campus and WSU system leadership teams on implementing an academic cooperative program that integrates practical work experiences while attending school.
“I am most excited to soak in the opportunity to learn, be challenged and implement a project that could be transformational for students in our community, WSU Tri-Cities, and the WSU system,” he said. “Thank you for the support of Chancellor Sandra Haynes, a fellow ACE Fellow, my great staff and my colleagues across the WSU system for the support.”
Haynes said she nominated Meiers for the fellowship because of his potential to benefit from such an intensive professional development experience.
“I believe developing staff is vital to the type of high-functioning team WSU Tri-Cities needs and Chris is ready to take on this type of in-depth learning experience,” she said.
Meiers has more than 20 years of experience working in higher education. His administrative roles have included more than 10 years at the University of Kansas Medical Center where he served in many capacities working his way up to the associate vice chancellor and clinical assistant professor level. He also has had administrative roles at Fort Hays State University (Kansas) and the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He joined WSU Tri-Cities as vice chancellor in 2014. Meiers also currently serves as a region director of NASPA: Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education association.
View more information about the ACE Fellows Program.