Students studying outside the library

Two professors named American Council on Education Fellows

Ryan Johnson, John Miles will spend year at other institutions

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Dr. Ryan Johnson, left, and Dr. John Miles have been named American Council on Education Fellows.
2017-04-03

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Two Wofford College professors have been named American Council on Education (ACE) Fellows for the 2017-18 academic year, the council announced today (Monday, April 3, 2017).

Dr. Ryan Johnson, associate professor of accounting, and Dr. John D. Miles, dean of the Center for Innovation and Learning (CIL), director for institutional effectiveness and associate professor of English, will spend an academic year at other higher education institutions and will participate in retreats, interactive learning opportunities and visits to other campuses. They are among 46 ACE Fellows selected after a rigorous application process; Fellows are nominated by the senior administration of their institutions. The ACE Fellows will conduct projects of pressing concern for their home institution and will seek to implement their findings at the completion of the fellowship placement.

Established in 1965, the ACE Fellows Program is designed to strengthen institutions and leadership in American higher education by identifying and preparing faculty and staff for senior positions in college and university administration through its distinctive and intensive nominator-driven, cohort-based mentorship model.

“Having two Wofford professors selected for this prestigious program is a testament to the quality of our faculty,” says Dr. Mike Sosulski, provost. “Ryan and John are stellar examples of professors who take their interest in student success to a higher level, expressing their interest in serving the college in productive and important ways that exceed the bounds of typical faculty responsibilities. Their engagement with larger questions of governance and ongoing program development at the institutional level makes them excellent candidates for the ACE Fellowship.” Johnson has served as chair of the Department of Accounting, has been coordinator of Interim and was elected as a member of Wofford’s Strategic Vision Steering Committee and General Education Reform Committee. His research interests include first-generation college students, fraud examination, tax policy and the historical development of tax laws and regulations. Formerly a director with worldwide accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, Johnson is recognized as an expert in state and local taxation, sales and use taxes, and audit defense. He is a certified public accountant licensed in South Carolina, a certified fraud examiner and a member of the South Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting from Appalachian State University and his Ph.D. in educational administration from the University of South Carolina. He recently completed his doctoral thesis in accounting at Rhodes University and anticipates the Ph.D. this month.

As dean of the CIL, Miles oversees programming to support the scholarship of teaching and learning on campus, and he guided an Andrew Mellon Foundation-funded project introducing digital humanities and ePortfolios at Wofford. In his role of director for institutional effectiveness, he organized the decennial accreditation process over the past two years and helped institute a campus-wide assessment process for all departments and programs. He also has assisted a variety of campuses by reviewing Quality Enhancement Plans (QEP) for accreditation, writing programs and writing centers. Currently, Miles is on the committee to reform general education at Wofford and is co-primary investigator on an Arthur Vining Davis Foundation grant to improve civic engagement through digital technologies. He received his Ph.D. in rhetoric and composition from the University of New Mexico. He currently is working on a publication project that describes the threshold concepts of ePortfolio work for both faculty and students.

Nearly 1,900 higher education leaders have participated in the ACE Fellows Program over the past five decades, with more than 80 percent of Fellows having gone on to serve as senior leaders of colleges and universities. The 2017-18 class will begin its work this fall as ACE prepares to celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2018.

“Fulfilling higher education’s 21st century mission depends upon a visionary, bold and diverse global community of institutional leaders, and the ACE Fellows Program plays a key role in cultivating these leaders,” says ACE President Molly Corbett Broad. “The diverse and talented 2017-18 Fellows class demonstrates why the program has made such a vital contribution for more than a half-century to expanding the leadership pipeline for our colleges and universities.”

The 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.

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.

Founded in 1918, ACE is the major coordinating body for all the nation’s higher education institutions, representing nearly 1,800 college and university presidents and related associations. 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.