TCU, UTA professors switch places

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    Professor of Marketing George Low knows what it’s like to work in another man’s school.

    Low swapped places with the University of Texas at Arlington professor Dr. John Buckwalter  for the 2011-2012 school year as a part of the American Council on Education Fellows program. Both professors said they are excited for the opportunity to learn from academic leaders from many different campuses.

    The American Council on Education Fellows program was established in 1965. According to the ACE Fellows website, the program is dedicated to preparing educators for a next step toward becoming university administrators. The standards that candidates must meet include being involved in key meetings and events, participating in 3 week-long national seminars, and visiting other campuses.

    Dr. William Cron, associate dean for graduate programs and research for the Neeley School of Business, said The ACE Fellowship program is preparing these professors to become leaders.

    While taking part in the program, both Low  and Buckwalter  will shadow and combine their teachings with what they learn from the other schools.

    Buckwalter said he is excited for the opportunity to interact beneficially with other schools. He said he is looking forward to seeing his academic discipline from a much broader perspective and from a private university standpoint. He will be traveling to a lot of universities from private schools like TCU to community colleges.

    Buckwalter, who began working at the university on August 1 of this year, said he has already been exposed to new ideas and perspectives and enjoys the camaraderie the Horned Frog community offers.

    Low  started at UTA on August 30, a week after classes began. He said he expects this year will be the best year of his professional career.

    “I have learned much about my strengths and weaknesses as a potential leader in higher education, and have a good idea about what I would like to learn this coming year as an ACE Fellow,” Low said.

    He admitted, however, that it will take time to adjust and adapt to a different university’s set of rules.

    Jeff Munro, senior geography major, said this exchange shows that the university is willing to accept opinions from other schools, which may help improve its image for the future.

    Bob Akin, instructor of marketing at the university and a co-worker of Low’s , said Low’s experience will not only help the university share some of its practices with other schools but will also help mix other schools’ methods with the university’s own.

    “It’s an experience that will benefit the educational community as a whole,” Akin said.

    Cron said the ACE Fellows program is similar to going from being a World War I fighter pilot to becoming part of a football team. Being a professor requires a lot of independent judgment, but as part of administration it is more of a collaborative effort, he said.

    “A leader at a university still has to be a team player; everybody does,” Cron said.