(NORTHRIDGE, Calif., Sept. 27, 2017) — Mehrzad Boroujerdi, professor and former chair of political science at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, and a 2017-18 American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow, will spend this academic year at California State University, Northridge, to study the best practices for student success initiatives.
Established in 1965, the prestigious ACE Fellows Program is designed to strengthen institutional and leadership capacity in American higher education by identifying and preparing faculty and staff for senior positions in college and university administration. Boroujerdi was one of 42 Fellows to be selected for the 2017-18 cohort through an intensive nomination and application process. Nearly 2,000 higher education leaders have participated in the ACE Fellows Program over the past five decades, with more than 80 percent of Fellows having served as senior leaders of colleges and universities.
At CSUN, Boroujerdi will observe and work collaboratively with CSUN President Dianne F. Harrison and other senior officers, attend decision-making meetings and focus on other issues of interest. CSUN’s student success initiative, called Matadors Rising, is what attracted Boroujerdi to the university, he said. Matadors Rising aims to raise retention and graduation rates and eliminate opportunity gaps systemwide.
“The expectation is that this is supposed to be a year of thinking and reflection on my part and learn about these initiatives,” Boroujerdi said. “I hope to write a report or white paper on what I have learned from here and other institutions, and share it with my mentors here and at Syracuse.”
In 2014, Boroujerdi was named by Syracuse’s prestigious Maxwell School as an O’Hanley Faculty Scholar, and in 2015 Boroujerdi was appointed Provost Faculty Fellow for Internationalization. During the 2016-17 academic year he served as co-chair of the university’s Internationalization Council, formed on a recommendation of the University’s Academic Strategic Plan. He also served as the founding director of Syracuse University’s Middle Eastern Studies Program and is a past president of the International Society for Iranian Studies. He has received grants and fellowships from Harvard University, Henry R. Luce Foundation, Carnegie Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Social Science Research Council, the Institute of International Education, the U.S. Department of Education and the United States Institute of Peace.
He was nominated for the ACE Fellowship by Syracuse Provost Michele Wheatly.
“To be selected as an ACE Fellow is a significant achievement, and Mehrzad is more than deserving of this distinction,” Wheatly said. “It is a reflection not only of his talent as a teacher and scholar, but also of his tremendous promise as a higher education leader.”
Boroujerdi chose to learn at CSUN because of its status as a public university, its significant size and its student success initiative. He also spoke to colleagues in the sociology and women’s studies departments who sold him on coming here.
“Selection as a host institution is a sign of the outstanding reputation and commitment to excellence at CSUN,” said Sherri Lind Hughes, director of ACE Leadership and a 2002-03 ACE Fellow. “An ACE Fellow chooses an institution not only for its rigorous academic environment, high-quality efforts to educate students, but also its strong desire to invest in the future of higher education senior leadership as well.”
Founded in 1918, ACE is the major coordinating body for all the nation’s higher education institutions, representing more than 1,600 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.