(Ashland, Ore.) — Chad Hamill, the vice president for Native American initiatives at Northern Arizona University, has chosen to serve a prestigious ACE fellowship (from the American Council on Education) at Southern Oregon University during this year’s winter and spring terms.
The ACE fellowship program is highly competitive, and considered a pipeline for those aspiring to presidencies and other senior administrative positions in higher education.
Hamill will work closely with President Linda Schott while serving his fellowship, applying his expertise to existing SOU programs and acquiring knowledge that he will take back to NAU.
“We are thrilled to serve as Dr. Hamill’s host institution during his ACE fellowship,” President Schott said. “We expect that this relationship will help SOU to improve its outreach, and already strong connections, with Oregon’s nine recognized Native American tribes.
“It is especially gratifying to us that SOU was Dr. Hamill’s first choice for a host institution, and that he is truly excited about contributing to our mission.”
Hamill said that he visited a larger university first and had more or less decided to serve his fellowship there, but quickly changed his mind after a visit to SOU last spring.
“Ten minutes into my first meeting with President Schott and her team, it was clear that they are united by a shared vision for SOU,” he said. “I look forward to contributing to that vision over the next five months while learning the ins and outs of university leadership, in particular through the guidance and mentorship of Dr. Schott.”
The ACE fellowship program, established in 1965, is intended to identify and prepare future higher education leaders. Almost 2,000 people have received ACE fellowships, and more than 80 percent of them have gone on to serve as senior leaders at U.S. colleges and universities.
A total of 43 fellows were chosen for the 2018-19 academic year, following nomination by their home institutions and a rigorous application and selection process. ACE represents more than 1,600 college and university presidents, providing leadership and advocacy on key higher education issues.
Hamill, an associate professor and former chair of NAU’s Department of Applied Indigenous Studies, has taught at the Flagstaff university since 2007. His specialties include music and sovereignty, music and spirituality and Indigenous ecological knowledge. His book, “Songs of Power and Prayer in the Columbia Plateau,” explores song as a vehicle for spiritual power among tribes of the interior Northwest – including his own, the Spokane.
He has served previously as an instructor at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and at the California Institute of the Arts.
Hamill received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the California Institute of the Arts, and his doctorate in ethnomusicology from the University of Colorado at Boulder.