UNM Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Chaouki Abdallah has been elected to the inaugural Board of Directors of the Association of Chief Academic Officers (ACAO).  The organization has enrolled 75 institutions, including the University of New Mexico, as charter members.

Wendy K. Wilkins, executive vice president and Provost Emerita at New Mexico State University, chaired the steering committee of CAOs who put together the organization. She served as ACAO’s interim president. “The groundswell of support from CAOs across the country, and across institutional types for ACAO, has demonstrated the need for an organization of this character,” said Wilkins.

The American Council on Education (ACE), in its role as a convener for higher education associations, has assisted in the organization’s start up.  The ACAO held its initial organization meeting during ACE’s 2013 Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.  The election of the association’s first officers and Board of Directors and approval of bylaws took place at the March 2014 ACE Annual Meeting held in San Diego, Calif.

Abdallah, who formerly chaired the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering and is now a professor in the department, is completing his third year as provost at UNM.  He conducts research and teaches courses in the general area of systems theory with a focus on control communications and computing systems.  Abdallah has published eight books (three as co-editor and five as co-author) and more than 300 peer reviewed papers.  He received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Tech.