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A.C.E. FELLOWS EXPAND THEIR SKILLS AT ODU

Najma Moosa, dean of faculty law at the University of the Western Cape in South Africa, wanted to hone her skills at promoting racial diversity and gender equality, so she came to "The South," to learn from its experiences. Fred Bonner, a native Texan, wants to become a university president one day because he is a champion for helping people achieve.

Moosa and Bonner are American Council on Education (ACE) Fellows, who are spending time at Old Dominion University to learn from President Roseann Runte. ACE Fellows spend an extended period of time on another college campus, working directly with presidents and other senior leaders to observe how they address strategic planning, resource allocation, development, policy and other issues.

Bonner, an associate professor of higher education and administrative programs at Texas A & M, will be mentored by Runte for six months.

"I would ultimately like to become president of a university," Bonner said. "Primarily because I have a passion for seeing people accomplish their goals."

Moosa, who is spending just one month at Old Dominion, is very optimistic about the knowledge and skills she is gaining from the experience.

"We are...a country where there is only one woman university president in the entire country of South Africa," she said. "To be mentored by a woman is an extraordinary opportunity."

Noting that apartheid ended relatively not so long ago in South Africa, Moosa compared the climate to the United States' as it struggled with racial equality. "We now have (racial quotas) and it's not good. At ODU, I am working with the director of equal opportunity and learning so much that I can take back and implement, your structure, process."

Moosa, 42, hopes to apply for a provost position when she returns. As the mother of four, she has stepped out of the traditional role of women in her country and knows her chances of job advancement are slim. Still, she says it is worth the sacrifice and persistence.

Since 1965, hundreds of vice presidents, deans, department chairs, faculty and other emerging leaders have participated in the ACE Fellows Program, the
nation's premier higher education leadership development program. Of the 1,450 ACE Fellows over the past 40 years, more than 1,300 have gone on to
become provosts, vice presidents or deans, and 250 have become CEOs.

This article was posted on: September 14, 2005

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Old Dominion University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution.