UB Associate Dean, Computer Scientist Named American Council On Education Fellow

Release Date: April 7, 2000 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Williamsville resident Deborah K. Walters, Ph.D., who has racked up impressive credentials as associate professor of computer science and engineering at UB, associate dean of the UB College of Arts and Sciences and co-director of IDEAS, the college's arts and technology center, has been named a fellow of the American Council on Education (ACE) for the 2000-01 academic year.

The ACE Fellows Program is designed to strengthen institutions and leadership in American higher education by identifying and preparing promising faculty and senior administrators for responsible positions in college and university administration. Walters is one of 33 fellows nominated by the presidents of their institutions and selected this year in a national competition and one of only five who received $62,000 in additional grant money from an anonymous source to support their fellowships.

Like other ACE fellows, Walters will focus on an issue of particular concern to her nominating institution: the use of technology as a lever for change. She will undertake this analysis during the next academic year as she works with a university president and other senior officers at a designated host institution, yet to be named.

In this capacity, she will participate in the highest level of institutional decision-making, participate in administrative activities and contribute to a learning group focused on the designated issue of concern to UB. The process will begin this summer when Walters attends three week-long seminars on higher education organized by ACE. She will be required to do extensive reading in the field and to engage in other activities designed to enhance her knowledge of the challenges and opportunities that will confront higher education in the next century.

During her fellowship year, Walters also will spend significant time shadowing a corporation executive whose work is related to the technology/change issue that will be the focus of her fellowship year. Among the corporations under discussion are Hewlett Packard, Sony and Microsoft Corp.

Walters says this is an especially interesting time to take part in the program because of the many challenges faced by research universities today.

"We are being pressured to contain costs while increasing educational quality," she said. "We're experiencing a virtual explosion of knowledge from within and without academia, but there is still a need to explain to the public the relevance of the research university in today's society," she said.

"The pervasive impact of technology has created an opportunity to re-examine our mission and goals as the university evolves, and I look forward to learning how other institutions are addressing these and other key issues in higher education."

Marlene Ross, director of the ACE Fellows Program, says that previous fellows have taken major positions in academic administration. Of the 1,248 fellows who have participated in the program since it was established in 1964, more than 250 have become chief executive officers and nearly 1,000 have become provosts, vice presidents or deans.

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