TWU chosen for ACE/Fidelity Investments institutional transformation award

Chancellor Feyten (left) and Debra Frey (right), head of analytics and marketing for Fidelity Investments
Chancellor Feyten (left) and Debra Frey (right), head of analytics and marketing for Fidelity Investments

The American Council on Education presented the 2023 ACE/Fidelity Investments Award for Institutional Transformation to Texas Woman’s University during the organization’s annual meeting on April 14 in Washington, D.C. Chancellor Carine M. Feyten accepted the award before roughly 800 higher education leaders.

The award, which comes with a $10,000 prize, is presented annually to an institution with a student population of 12,001 and over. Texas Woman’s became the first four-year institution in Texas to receive the honor. Other institutions who have received the award include University of California–San Diego, Arizona State University and Georgia State University.

ACE invited nominations and applications for the award from any U.S. college or university eligible for ACE membership. The organization also presents an annual award to institutions with populations up to 12,000 students.

The award was established in 2014 to recognize institutions that have responded to higher education challenges in innovative and creative ways, and which have achieved dramatic changes in a relatively brief period. 

“When I look back and connect the dots, I would say our transformation spun out of a singular focus on our mission,” said Texas Woman’s Chancellor Carine M. Feyten. “I have had the pleasure to witness incredible tangible and intangible growth, but most compellingly, I hear from our students, more than half first-gen, about how their Texas Woman’s experience is giving them the confidence and tools to leverage their lived experiences and natural intelligence in ways that will positively impact the world.”

In recognizing Texas Woman’s with the institutional transformation award, ACE noted the university in 2018 implemented an ambitious strategic plan, which included $460 million in new, cutting-edge facilities that elevated the university’s living and learning ecosystem; new graduate programs in STEM-related fields; and new modalities of delivering education, one a seven-week term that speeds time to degree.

Additionally, the university launched a health and wellbeing initiative that expanded competitive sports programs, added childcare solutions and established a council charged with driving inclusion and excellence.

Furthermore, Texas Woman’s created a leadership institute focused on supporting women entrepreneurs, women in politics and public policy and student leadership.

Throughout the strategic planning period, enrollment grew, bucking predictions and building a student community that better reflects the state’s racial and ethnic demographics. Last fall’s incoming class of first-time college students was 43% Hispanic, 22% Black, 22% White, and 9%  Asian — a dramatic shift when compared with the total student body, which is 33% Hispanic, 19% Black, 35% White, and 10% Asian. Most importantly, for three years in a row, the university has closed one- and two-year persistence gaps between different racial and ethnic groups.

During the previous legislative session, the Texas Legislature established the Texas Woman’s University System — transforming Texas Woman’s — with its 16,000 students, 3,000 employees, and campuses in Denton, Dallas and Houston. The university system is the first in the nation with a woman-focused mission.

Media Contact

Matt Flores
Assistant Vice President, University Communications

Page last updated 10:37 AM, April 17, 2023