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Last modified: Tuesday, April 6, 2010

IU dean for women's affairs named ACE Fellow

April 6, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Yvette Alex-Assensoh, dean of the Indiana University Office for Women's Affairs, has been named an ACE Fellow for 2010-11 by the American Council on Education.

Alex-Assensoh, a professor in the Department of Political Science in the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences, was nominated by IU Bloomington Provost Karen Hanson, with support from IU President Michael A. McRobbie. As an ACE Fellow, she will shadow a university president and other senior leaders at a host institution and assist in developing policies and programs.

Yvette Alex-Assensoh

Yvette Alex-Assensoh

Print-Quality Photo

"I feel deeply honored by this opportunity," Alex-Assensoh said. "Through these experiences, I fervently hope to gain a broader view of campus leadership and 'politics' in higher education as well as sharpening my own leadership skills so that I can be in a better position, upon the completion of the ACE Fellowship year, to serve our own campus in particular and the higher education community in general.

"Consistent with the admirable goals of the ACE program, it is my plan to apply relevant aspects of what I am expected to learn, in ways that will be both be beneficial to the advancement of our own campus and our university at large."

Karen Hanson, the Bloomington provost and IU executive vice president, said: "We are delighted that Dean Alex-Assensoh has been selected for this prestigious fellowship. It is an affirmation of her significant academic accomplishments and the high expectations for her future success. Her experience as an ACE Fellow will provide important benefits to her and to the IU Bloomington campus."

Molly Corbett Broad, president of the American Council on Education, announced the 2010-11 class of 46 ACE Fellows, who were nominated by the presidents, provosts or chancellors of their institutions and selected following a rigorous application process. The program, established in 1965, is designed to strengthen institutions and leadership in American higher education by identifying and preparing promising senior faculty and administrators for responsible positions in university administration.

Sharon A. McDade, director of the ACE Fellows Program, noted that, of nearly 1,700 participants in the first 45 years of the program, more than 300 have become chief executive officers and more than 1,100 have become provosts, vice presidents, or deans.

"We're extremely pleased with the strength of the incoming class," McDade said. "The Fellows Program will sharpen and enhance their leadership skills and their network, and prepare them to address issues of concern to the higher education community."

Alex-Assensoh previously served as director of graduate studies and admissions in the Department of Political Science. She has authored, co-authored or edited five books, with the latest being Immigrants and American Racial Politics in the Early 21st Century, published by University of Michigan Press. Her research has largely been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Council for the International Exchange of Scholars (CIES), the Spencer Foundation and the National Academy of Education. She is a licensed attorney and a registered family mediator.

A native of Breaux Bridge, La., Alex-Assensoh is married to A.B. Assensoh, an IU professor in the Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies. They are the parents of two sons.

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. The Fellows are included in the highest level of decision-making while participating in administrative activities and learning about an issue to benefit their institution. Fellows 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 seeks to provide leadership and a unifying voice on key higher education issues and influence public policy through advocacy, research, and program initiatives.