Baylor President Linda A. Livingstone to Serve as Board Chair of American Council on Education

March 2, 2023
President Linda A. Livingstone

Baylor University President Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D., will be the next chair of the American Council on education (ACE) Board of Directors.

WACO, Texas (March 2, 2023) – Baylor University President ​Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D., will be the next chair of the American Council on education (ACE) Board of Directors.

President Livingstone was formally named today during ACE’s business meeting conducted via a webinar with ACE members, and her term will begin in April 2023, after ACE2023, ACE's Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. She succeeds Michael Rao, Ph.D., president of Virginia Commonwealth University, and will serve until September 2024. President Livingstone currently serves as vice-chair.

ACE’s membership also elected Félix V. Matos Rodríguez, Ph.D., chancellor of The City University of New York, as Board vice-chair, and elected a slate of new Board members, all of whom also will begin their terms after ACE2023.

​​“ACE’s work to mobilize American higher education for the good of our students and communities grows more important every year as the challenges facing our nation and world become ever more complex,” said ACE President Ted Mitchell. “I deeply appreciate Linda’s and Félix’s dedication and service, along with the entire ACE Board of Directors, and I want to express my utmost gratitude to Michael for all of his leadership and commitment over the past year to ACE and the entire higher education community.”

“It is a privilege to take on this important role at ACE, a dynamic organization which serves the entire diverse landscape of American higher education. I look forward to promoting the generational impacts that our colleges and universities have on so many people, as well as on cities, regions and states across the country,” President Livingstone said. “I am honored to follow the commitment and leadership exemplified every day by outgoing chair Michael Rao and continue to work alongside Ted Mitchell and the entire ACE organization.”

President Livingstone is Baylor’s 15th president in the University’s 178-year history, having served in that capacity since 2017. She has overseen the development of Baylor’s strategic plan, Illuminate, which provides a foundation for Baylor’s aspiration to become a preeminent Christian research university. In December 2021, Baylor reached Research 1 (R1) status by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education some three years ahead of internal projections. Additionally, President Livingstone has led Give Light, a $1.1 billion comprehensive philanthropic campaign that undergirds Illuminate, reaching the campaign’s fundraising goals well before its anticipated conclusion. 

A former collegiate student-athlete and a strong voice for the role of faith-based institutions in American higher education, she has established herself as a scholar in organizational behavior, leadership, creativity and university accreditation. Enhancing the University’s academic enterprise has been a key priority of President Livingstone’s leadership. She is animated by a desire to build upon Baylor’s historic strengths and increase undergraduate and graduate educational opportunities while expanding the University’s service to the surrounding world through research and scholarship.

ACE is a membership organization that mobilizes the higher education community to shape effective public policy and foster innovative, high-quality practice. It is the major coordinating body for the nation’s higher education institutions, with a diverse membership of more than 1,700 colleges and universities, related associations and other organizations in America and abroad.

Also elected and designated to the ACE Board of Directors during today's ACE business meeting were:

Terms begin after the spring Board meeting in April 2023



  • Linda A. Livingstone, President, Baylor University (TX)


  • Félix V. Matos Rodríguez, Chancellor, The City University of New York


Term Ending September 2026

  • Walter “Ted” Carter Jr., President, University of Nebraska System
  • Ana Mari Cauce, President, University of Washington
  • Frank J. Dooley, Chancellor, Purdue University Global (IN)
  • Juan Sánchez Muñoz, Chancellor, University of California, Merced
  • Christina Hull Paxson, President, Brown University (RI)
  • Madeline Pumariega, President, Miami Dade College
  • Félix V. Matos Rodríguez, Chancellor, The City University of New York
  • Valerie Smith, President, Swarthmore College (PA)

Term Ending September 2025

  • Linda A. Livingstone, President, Baylor University (TX)

Term Ending September 2024

  • Kenya Ayers-Palmore, President, Tarrant County College Northeast Campus (TX), Ex Officio
  • Harry J. Elam Jr., President, Occidental College (CA)


Designated Associations Institutional Representative (Term Ending September 2026)

  • American Association of Community Colleges (AACC)

L. Joy Gates Black, President, Delaware County Community College

  • American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU)

Cynthia Teniente-Matson, President, Texas A&M University–San Antonio

  • Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U)

Santa J. Ono, President, University of Michigan

  • Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (ACCU)

Reynold Verret, President, Xavier University of Louisiana

  • Council of Independent Colleges (CIC)

Jorge C. Gonzalez, President, Kalamazoo College (MI)

  • National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO)

Melva K. Williams, President, Huston-Tillotson University (TX)

Designated Associations (Term Ending September 2026)

  • American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC)

Carrie Billy, President and Chief Executive Officer

  • Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (ACCU)

Dennis H. Holtschneider, President

Washington Higher Education Secretariat Designated Representative (Term Ending September 2025)

  • Andy Brantley, President and Chief Executive Officer, College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR)


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked Research 1 institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 20,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.