Lawrence University Art Historian Named American Council on Education Fellow

APPLETON, WIS. — Lawrence University Professor of Art History Michael Orr has been named an American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow for 2009-10. Orr was one of 42 fellows selected from nominations by college and university presidents or chancellors in a national competition.

Established in 1965, the ACE Fellows Program is designed to strengthen institutions and leadership in American higher education by identifying and preparing promising senior faculty and administrators for responsible positions in college and university administration.

“The ACE Fellowship is a great honor, both for Professor Orr and for Lawrence,” said Lawrence President Jill Beck. “Michael is an intellectually gifted and dedicated faculty member who has participated effectively in faculty governance at Lawrence and has great potential to offer academic and administrative leadership. The future of higher education depends upon developing outstanding leaders, and we are very pleased to be part of the ACE program.”

According to Sharon McDade, director of the ACE Fellows Program, most previous fellows have advanced into major positions in academic administration. Of the more than 1,500 participants in the program’s history, more than 300 have become chief executive officers and more than 1,100 have become provosts, vice presidents or deans.

“I am honored to receive an ACE fellowship and am indebted to President Beck and Provost David Burrows for supporting my nomination,” said Orr. “I am excited at the prospect of participating in the ACE fellowship program and hope that it will challenge me personally and broaden my understanding of the place of the liberal arts college within American higher education.”

As an ACE Fellow, Orr will focus on an issue central to Lawrence while spending the 2009-10 academic year working with the president and other senior administrative officers at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn.

The ACE Fellows Program combines seminars, interactive learning opportunities, campus visits and placement at another higher education institution to condense years of on-the-job experience and skills development into a single year. The fellows are included in the highest level of decision making while participating in administrative activities and learning about an issue to benefit Lawrence.

During his fellowship, Orr will attend three week-long retreats on higher education issues organized by ACE, read extensively in the field and engage in other activities to enhance their knowledge about the challenges and opportunities confronting higher education today.

Orr, a specialist in medieval art and illuminated manuscripts, joined the Lawrence faculty in 1989. A past recipient of Lawrence’s Young Teacher Award (1992) and the Freshman Studies Teaching Prize (2006), he has worked as an exhibition consultant for the J. Paul Getty Museum in Malibu, Calif., and been awarded research and travel grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the British Academy.

He has co-authored three volumes in the Harvey Miller series “An Index of Images in English Manuscripts from the Time of Chaucer to Henry VIII” and recently completed book chapters on the hierarchies of decoration in English prayer books and the iconography of St. Anne.

Between 1998 and 2000, Orr co-chaired Lawrence’s Trustee Task Force on Student Residential Life and has served as chair of a number of other faculty committees, including the Tenure and Promotions Committee and the Faculty Committee on University Governance. He earned his bachelor’s degree in art history at University College London and his master’s and doctoral degrees in art history at Cornell University.

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 more than 200 related associations, nationwide. It seeks to provide leadership and a unifying voice on key higher education issues and influence public policy through advocacy, research, and program initiatives.