The Leadership University
The Leadership University will define tomorrow's public university, and preparing tomorrow's leaders is the single biggest responsibility we have. I am very proud that one of the five strategic directions set forth in ECU Tomorrow: A Vision for Leadership and Service is ECU as "The Leadership University." This is a bold and demanding statement about our commitment to the development of leadership. Our commitment builds on the work of ECU's leaders of the past, recognizes and celebrates the leaders of today, and enhances the development of tomorrow's leaders in our students, faculty and staff.
Leadership is a pervasive theme across campus, with exciting initiatives in the provost's office and among nearly all deans. For example, we have a new Outreach Scholars Academy devoted to making a difference in our communities; the BB&T Leadership Center has provided leadership training to students for years, and the Chancellor's Leadership Academy serves all categories of employees and helps them realize their highest aspirations. Many new academic programs have recently emerged, including a minor in leadership studies in the Harriot College of Arts and Sciences. The College of Business has an integrated Leadership and Professional Development program across its undergraduate curriculum. This is a significant innovation in higher education because all students in that College will graduate with demonstrated leadership competencies.
The provost's office has developed leadership councils for both internal and external constituencies. These councils have made significant progress in measuring leadership and ensuring that learning outcomes reflect leadership competencies. In the last year, we have profited from the addition of a Leader in Residence, and we are enhancing our freshman seminar classes with a leadership module and with our EC Scholars program. Within the College of Health and Human Performance, Air Force and Army ROTC, which have a long history of developing leaders, are seeing a record number of students in both programs. In other words, leadership is a campus commitment, not just one program. My goal is for every facet of the university to be committed to building a culture of leadership that will be a national model.
The Leadership Council created by Provost Sheerer is developing an excellent framework for leadership development. It states:
- Leading is a process of influence and empowerment;
- The ability to lead exists beyond one's positional influence;
- ECU prepares university and community members to inspire, empower and influence positive change; and
- We foster the shared values of respect, authenticity, accountability, teamwork and a commitment to serve.
We will be successful as "The Leadership University" if we connect our values with our daily actions and do the little things to make sure every student has the opportunity to be a leader.