Arcadia University Provost Elected to ACAO Leadership Position

By Purnell T. Cropper | March 31, 2014

Dr. Steve O. Michael, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at Arcadia University, has been elected to the Executive Committee and the Board of the newly established Association of Chief Academic Officers (ACAO). The ACAO is the first national organization representing chief academic officers (CAOs) from accredited higher education institutions. The organization provides a forum for discussing important national academic issues and an environment where CAOs can communicate with one another.

The American Council on Education (ACE) provided the impetus and assistance for the formation of the organization. The ACAO election took place at the March 2014 ACE Annual Meeting in San Diego, Calif. For more information on the ACAO, visit

Michael became provost of Arcadia University in 2009 and has continued to play a significant national role at the American Council on Education. In addition to the executive position at the ACAO, he is a member of the Commission on Leadership for ACE and a guest speaker at the Institute for the New Chief Academic Officers. Provost Michael is a full professor of higher education management with an interest in higher education finance and application of business strategies to institutional management. Michael is a graduate of the Harvard Institutes for Higher Education and a trained accreditation consultant-evaluator by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. He is one of the principal founders of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE), serving as its first vice president and interim president.

“I am proud to note that Arcadia is either the first or the second in the nation to become a charter member of the Association of Chief Academic Officers,” said Michael, who will serve as treasurer of ACAO. “As a charter member, Arcadia’s name will be etched on the website of the association forever! This not only reflects our national leadership as an institution but also our commitment to service to the higher education community. Those who interact with ACAO can never say they have never heard the name of Arcadia University.”

Elected officers of ACAO are April Mason, provost of Kansas State University, as president; Carolyn J. Stefanco, chief academic officer of Agnes Scott College, as vice president/president-elect; Denise A. Battles, provost of University of North Carolina, as secretary; and Wendy K. Wilkins, provost emeriti of New Mexico State University, as past-president and ex-officio.

More than 75 accredited higher education institutions have enrolled as charter members, in addition to association and individual members.