Complex problems and challenges in the modern world have made the need for enlightened leadership greater than ever. With this in mind, Dr. Edward H. Hammond, president of Fort Hays State University, has announced the creation of the Center for Civic Leadership.
"The need for leadership at all levels of society -- local, state and national -- has never been greater," said Hammond. "Modern life demands that we have people who are willing and able to take action to meet civic needs and solve problems. The Center for Civic Leadership, building on the nationally recognized excellence within our university and the Department of Leadership Studies, will foster leaders for America's future. It will give them training and experience to meet the challenges they will face as community, state and national leaders of tomorrow."
Dr. Curt Brungardt, chair of the Department of Leadership Studies at FHSU and acting director of the Center for Civic Leadership, said the mission of the center is to foster and promote the development of "citizen leaders" who will address and solve community issues.
"We wanted to provide leadership development beyond our campus program," said Brungardt. "That's what really led to our Center for Civic Leadership."
This leadership approach operates on the basic assumption that all people have the ability to serve as leaders and therefore should participate in civic action for the purpose of making a difference in society and the workplace.
The Center for Civic Leadership will serve a broad range of individuals who have an interest in leadership at the youth, collegiate and community level. The center will offer a variety of programs that include youth leadership camps, workshops, leadership training for FHSU student leaders, conferences, and leadership development for community businesses and organizations.
This year the center sponsored the Kansas Youth Leadership Camp from June 13-15, which drew 135 high school students from 25 Kansas high schools. The Center for Civic Leadership will conduct the KYLC next year from June 11-13.
Other activities already scheduled are middle school leadership conferences set for Sept. 24 at Felten and Kennedy middle schools in Hays and for Oct. 23 for Wamego on the FHSU campus. Another will be in Stockton in February 2003.
Plans are also in progress for a national business and leadership conference on campus in spring
2003 and a statewide women's leadership summit on the FHSU campus in fall 2003. FHSU's Leadership Studies program is listed in The Templeton Guide: Colleges that Encourage Character Development, published by the Templeton Foundation, which profiles 405 exemplary college programs in 10 categories that inspire students to lead ethical and civic-minded lives.
The program was also named by the Association of Leadership Educators as the Outstanding Leadership Program in 2000 in North America. The university's AmeriCorps program is also a part of the center and will offer assistance in community service areas. Reporting to the Office of the Provost and affiliated with the Department of Leadership Studies in the College of Business and Leadership, the Center for Civic Leadership aspires to become the premier institute of leadership education in the country. Programming for the center will be supported primarily by private monies, grants, contracts and membership fees from participating universities and colleges.
Organizations interested in learning more about leadership development can call the Center for Civic Leadership and contact Dr. Curt Brungardt, acting director, or Jill Stafford, acting assistant director.
The center's phone number is (785) 628-5592. The Web site is http://www.fhsu.edu/ccl. The mailing address is Center for Civic Leadership, Fort Hays State University, 600 Park Street, Hays, KS 67601.