The Reestablishment of the NC ACE Network
For more than five years, North Carolina went without an American Council on Education (ACE) Network of women leaders after WANCHE’s folding. Barbara Waller, Director of Contracts and Grants at Winston-Salem State University, attended an ACE Regional Women’s Leadership Forum in Seattle, WA, in 2016, and through connections there, was asked by the ACE Inclusive Excellence Group to reignite the NC ACE Network.
Regular conference calls began in November 2016 under Waller’s leadership, resulting in a face-to-face meeting in May 2017, hosted by Paige Meltzer, Director of the Women’s Center, at Wake Forest University. With members of the current Executive Board, along with Alahna Booth, who previously worked in the President’s Office at Elon University, monthly conference call meetings were held continuously to establish bylaws and determine a plan of action for relaunching the organizations. The group met on May 23, 2018 at Elon University to approve bylaws and elect officers. On this date, the North Carolina ACE Network of Women Leaders was officially reestablished.
The NC ACE Network of Women Leaders, Inc. shares the purpose of the American Council on Education’s leadership programs by promoting the advancement of women in colleges and universities in NC through
- creating a network for women in the State who are interested in advancing in the ranks of higher education faculty and/or administration;
- providing information, support, mentoring, and encouragement to those who share an interest in advancement of women in higher education;
- assisting in the leadership development of women in current positions, building skills toward higher-level positions, and securing nominations of women for vacant leadership positions; and
- developing strategies to improve the institutional climate for women in higher education.
The NC ACE Network is inclusive of any individual who is woman/female-identified.
The ACE Women’s Network facilitates the networking of women interested in pursuing leadership opportunities in higher education. A four-part structure—Women’s National Executive Council (WNEC), state-based networks, presidential sponsors, and institutional representatives—facilitates these connections, allows for the sharing of best practices, particularly at the State Coordinators’ Annual Conference, and enables local leadership training by the state networks. The ACE Women’s Network draws from the resources of ACE’s Inclusive Excellence Group and provides a means for implementing a set of core principles in supporting women leaders in higher education.
The Benefits of Institutional Membership in the NC ACE Network
The NC ACE Network is a part of a system of volunteer state networks that started in 1977 under the American Council on Education with funding from the Carnegie Corporation. The purpose of the Networks is to provide professional development to women to prepare for more advanced administrative and leadership positions. Forty-seven networks exist across the country, most of which are state-based. Each state network conducts a wide variety of programs and initiatives in response to the needs of the women in their states, and establishes an organizational structure that best fits the specific needs of the state. Most state networks conduct statewide or regional conferences that provide professional development and networking opportunities for women at all levels of higher education faculty and administration. Collectively, the programming of the state networks across the U.S. reaches approximately 10,000 women each year.
Membership in the NC ACE Network
The NC ACE Network is comprised of institutional or organizational members—colleges, universities, or other educational organizations. Institutional or organizational members pay annual membership dues through their presidents/chancellors or CEO’s office. Faculty and staff interested in professional development and advancing their careers can join the NC ACE Network listserv and attend network sponsored events if their institution or organization is current on membership dues. Annual membership dues are based on a tiered payment plan, determined by numbers of students enrolled or employees/members in an educational organizational.