Dr. Stuart Benkert, director of bands and professor of music at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, has been named to a prestigious American Council on Education (ACE) Fellowship for academic year 2013-14.
The announcement was made Tuesday in Washington, D.C. by Molly Corbett Broad, president of ACE.
“I am extremely honored,” said Dr. Benkert. “If you look at the list of the past fellows and the list from this year, you recognize what a tremendous opportunity this represents. I know that I would not have this privilege without the support I have received from the administration and from my colleagues and students here at UTC.”
The ACE Fellows 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 college and university administration. Fifty Fellows, nominated by the presidents or chancellors of their institutions, were selected this year following a rigorous application process.
Visit the ACE website to see complete news of Tuesday’s announcement here.
“The ACE Fellowship in Academic Administration is one of the nation’s premier leadership development programs for future academic leaders,” said Dr. Grady Bogue, interim chancellor at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. “I was pleased to nominate Dr. Benkert for this developmental opportunity and extremely gratified that he was selected from an extensive field of candidates.”
Dr. Benkert holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern Florida and received a master’s degree and doctorate from the University of Kansas. He is recognized internationally as a conductor of educational and scholastic musical programs.
In addition to his duties as a faculty member, Dr. Benkert is completing an administrative fellowship at UTC where he has worked on a faculty-based model of student engagement to increase student participation in on-campus activities.
Dr. Benkert is active in the Chattanooga community as well as a principal in several education and music-related businesses. He serves as CEO of QSB Events, a company that brings educational performance opportunities to the Chattanooga region. He is President of Hyperion EduVational Consultants, which provides training and motivational presentations to corporations and schools.
For Dr. Benkert’s complete biography, click here.
“I do not yet know where I will be, but I am interested in opportunities to look at ways to engage students in their educational experience, to get students excited about what they are doing,” said Dr. Benkert. “And at the same time, making sure the policies and cultures are in place to facilitate student success and achievement.”
Margarita Benítez, interim director of ACE’s Emerging Leaders Group and the ACE Fellows Program, noted that most previous Fellows have advanced into major positions in academic administration. Nearly 2,000 higher education leaders have participated in the ACE Fellows Program since its inception, with more than 300 Fellows having served as chief executive officers of colleges or universities and more than 1,300 having served as provosts, vice presidents and deans.
UTC Interim Chancellor Bogue was an ACE Fellow in 1974-75, and UTC Chancellor Emeritus Fred Obear was an ACE Fellow in 1967-68.
“The 2013-14 class of Fellows is a talented, diverse group,” Ms. Benítez said. “The ACE Fellows Program will strengthen their leadership skills, expand their networks and prepare them to tackle the wide array of issues facing the higher education community.”
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 program is highly competitive, involving an initial assessment of credentials and personal interviews with finalists,” said Dr. Bogue. “The fellowship year provides opportunity for the Fellow to have policy involvement, research experience, and seminar engagement with leading national higher education leaders. I know that Dr. Benkert will have a tremendous experience and will represent himself and this campus with distinction.”
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. For more information, please visit www.acenet.edu or follow ACE on Twitter @ACEducation.