Las Vegas, N.M. – The American Council on Education (ACE) has announced that Edward Martínez, Ph.D., interim vice president for strategic enrollment management at New Mexico Highlands University, is an ACE Fellow for the academic year 2019-2020. ACE is the largest coordinating body for the nation’s higher education institutions, representing more than 1,700 college and university presidents.
Martínez won the prestigious honor following his nomination by Highlands President Sam Minner and a rigorous application process. Martínez is among 39 ACE Fellows from across the country who are named as emerging higher education leaders. As an ACE Fellow, Martínez will be placed at a host institution where he will observe and work alongside the institution’s president and other senior advisers.
“To me, the most exciting aspect of this fellowship is the opportunity to spend a year studying leadership at another institution,” Martinez said. “What I want to gain is insight into how other higher education leaders deal with current issues in higher education such as decreasing state revenue and declining enrollment. The challenge is how to continue to provide an excellent education to their student population while facing these and other issues.”
According to the American Council on Education, the ACE Fellows Program, which was founded in 1965, 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.
“I nominated Dr. Martínez for this ACE Fellowship because we need strong servant leaders in higher education,” Minner said. “After many conversations with him, I knew he puts students at the very center of all of his decisions. Clearly, Edward has the potential to lead and manage at the president or chancellor level. His excellent faculty credentials coupled with his time as our interim vice president of strategic enrollment management and finally, his ACE experience, prepare him to lead at the highest level.”
Minner said that over the past three years, Martínez has literally built a new unit – strategic enrollment management – that has modernized Highlands’ processes in recruitment and retention.
“We still face enrollment challenges as do many other institutions, but we are now employing numerous best practices and analytical tools and that is almost entirely Edward’s doing. He is already a great leader and is poised to do even more,” Minner said.
“I’m in the process of selecting from 12 host institutions based on my interests. I’m a strong believer in access to education regardless of socioeconomic status and background. I want to learn from another institution that stays true to this mission. One goal of the ACE Fellowship is to bring back knowledge and concrete ideas that can benefit Highlands,” Martínez said.
He said he is thankful to Minner and Highlands for the chance to participate in the ACE Fellowship.
Martínez earned his doctorate in environmental and natural resource sciences from Washington State University, where he also earned a master’s in environmental and regional planning.
He joined the Highlands University faculty in 2005 as a professor in the department of natural resources management. Martínez’ research interests are in the multidisciplinary field of environmental aquatic science.
Martínez has led numerous science grants at Highlands through granting agencies such as the USDA Hispanic Serving Institution program, the National Science Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Education.