Campus: CSU Stanislaus -- September 15, 2004

CSU Stanislaus Hosts ACE Fellow Dr. Lynette Findley

President Marvalene Hughes of CSU Stanislaus has announced that Dr. Lynette Michelle Findley of Eastern Michigan University is the American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow at CSU Stanislaus for academic year 2004-05.

“The campus joins me in welcoming Dr. Findley,” President Hughes said. “We are eager to draw on her expertise as we engage her in learning opportunities leading to her career development, which ultimately will benefit not only her but higher education as well.”

Dr. Findley is one of 33 ACE Fellows being hosted this year at universities around the country. The Washington D.C.-based ACE Fellows Program, established in 1965, identifies and prepares promising senior faculty and administrators for increasingly responsible positions in higher education administration. Fellows are nominated by the presidents or chancellors of their institutions and selected in a national competition.

Dr. Findley elected to be mentored by President Hughes, having had opportunities in the past to observe her leadership from a distance.

“I was thoroughly impressed with Dr. Hughes,” Dr. Findley said. “She has a vast knowledge base to offer me as I pursue my future interests and goals in higher education administration.”

She cited the parallels in their academic background and in their lifelong interest in advancing diversity and equity.

“I felt an immediate connection with her, without words. It’s comforting to work with her. I’d like to be like her when I grow up,” she added with a smile.

Dr. Findley said she was encouraged about her choice by a letter from President Betty Siegel of Kennesaw State University, a longtime personal and professional associate of President Hughes.

“Dr. Hughes is one of our most visionary presidents, and her inviting leadership style will be both instructive and inspiring for you,” Siegel wrote. “She always amazes me with her energy, tenacity and dedication to the task — and I know I have learned a great deal from our personal and professional association over the years.”

Dr. Findley has served as Director of Eastern Michigan University’s Holman Learning Center, which she established in 1997. She pioneered programs at the Center that increased the six-year graduation rate by 4 percent; the retention rate by 4 percent; and the freshmen completion rate by 5 percent. Previously, she established the Office of Equity Programs and served as its Director, during which she garnered awards for her work from enrollment management consultation firm Noel/Levitz, the Chronicle of Higher Education and the ACE. Dr. Findley’s efforts increased the recruitment, admission and retention rate for minority students by 10 percent.

Instrumental to the successful increase in minority student admission, retention and graduation was the Summer Incentive Program (SIP) that she created at EMU in 1987. Dr. Findley said SIP is akin to “academic boot camp.” Each summer, 50 students spend 7 1/2 intense weeks in classes and skill-building activities. They sign a contract that holds them to a commitment to receive tutoring and mentoring. They earn academic units toward their general education requirements. By the time the fall semester opens, these students, who were originally ineligible for admission, have an advantage over other incoming freshmen. They are familiar with the campus, have completed certain courses, and are connected with at least one faculty member. Dr. Findley said the SIP is the most successful program at Eastern Michigan University.

Dr. Findley holds a doctorate in Higher Education Administration from Michigan State University. She earned a master’s degree in Guidance and Counseling and a bachelor’s degree in Special Education for the Emotionally Impaired from the University of Michigan.

During her term, Dr. Findley will work closely with President Hughes and other senior administrators on issues of paramount concern to CSU Stanislaus. She will be included in major decision-making and participate in activities designed to enhance her knowledge of the challenges and opportunities confronting higher education.

Director of the ACE Fellows Program Marlene Ross noted that many previous ACE Fellows have advanced to upper-level academic administration positions. Of the 1,500-plus Fellows since program inception, more than 250 have become chief executive officers and more than 1,300 have become provosts, vice presidents or deans.

Founded in 1918, ACE is the nation’s largest higher education association, 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.

Contact: Don Hansen (209) 667-3997

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