Robin Cass named American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow for 2020-21

President David Munson nominated College of Art and Design faculty member

The American Council on Education (ACE) has named Robin Cass of Rochester Institute of Technology’s College of Art and Design an ACE Fellow for academic year 2020-21. Following her nomination by RIT President David Munson and a rigorous application process, Cass was among 38 Fellows selected this year.

Since its inception in 1965, the ACE Fellows Program has strengthened institutions in American higher education by identifying and preparing 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.

Among the Fellows who have participated to date, more than 80 percent has gone on to serve as chief executive officers, chief academic officers, other cabinet-level positions and deans following their fellowship.

“The ACE Fellows program is unique in its ability to transform the lives and enrich the careers of its participants,” ACE President Ted Mitchell said. “After an intensive experience working with accomplished higher education leaders, the Fellows will return to their home campuses prepared to address the challenges of tomorrow.”

Cass first joined the College of Art and Design in 1998 as a faculty member in the glass program and recently completed a two-year term as interim dean of the College of Art and Design. In this role she spearheaded a number of high-impact initiatives such as the establishment of RIT City Art Space in downtown Rochester.

In addition to her faculty roles and administrative appointments, Cass is an internationally recognized artist. She works primarily with hot glass and her current pieces explore themes of discovery, display and wonder. She has exhibited extensively and her work can be found in a number of public and private collections in the United States and abroad.

The ACE Fellows 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. Cass is awaiting her host school placement.

At the conclusion of the fellowship year, Fellows return to their home institution with new knowledge and skills that contribute to capacity-building efforts, along with a network of peers across the country and abroad.

About ACE
ACE is a membership organization that mobilizes the higher education community to shape effective public policy and foster innovative, high-quality practice. As the major coordinating body for the nation’s colleges and universities, the organization’s strength lies in its diverse membership of more than 1,700 colleges and universities, related associations and other organizations in America and abroad. ACE is the only major higher education association to represent all types of U.S. accredited, degree-granting institutions: two-year and four-year, public and private.


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