FHSU takes lead in educational project aimed at encouraging strategic thinking

A pilot project in educating toward strategic thinking will be led by Fort Hays State University, which this fall is introducing a freshman level course called Issues in Leadership: The Seven Revolutions.

The class is an outgrowth of FHSU's participation in the American Democracy Project, which resulted from a partnership between the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU, pronounced "ask-you") and The New York Times. A third partner has been added, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a non-partisan, Washington, D.C., think tank.

The FHSU class is the first of nine pilot projects at AASCU schools to develop course work around the Seven Revolutions studies. The other eight universities are planning courses in 2008.

"Our job is to educate competent global citizens, who think beyond themselves in a strategic way," said Dr. Curt Brungardt, the Omer G. Voss Distinguished Professor of Leadership Studies and director of the Center for Civic Leadership at FHSU.

Brungardt is the lead instructor of a teaching team that includes Dr. Paul Faber, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; Michael Tweed, instructor of political science; and Bret Whitaker, Sublette graduate student.

The Global Strategy Institute of the CSIS promotes global thinking about global challenges. One of its initiatives is the Seven Revolutions, an examination of trends in seven areas that the institute believes "will shape the world and challenge world leaders though the year 2025 and beyond": 1. population; 2. strategic resource management; 3. technological innovation and diffusion; 4. the flow of information and knowledge; 5. global economic integration; 6. the nature and mode of conflict; and 7. the challenge of governance.

Brungardt said the Global Strategy Institute encourages organizational and governmental leaders to think more strategically. By joining in the ADP partnership with AASCU and The New York Times, the CSIS will take the initiative to a different audience -- leaders of the future.

"Instead of just going to corporate or government leader, we'll take this same material and share it with state college students around America," said Brungardt.

Brungardt and a representative from each of the other eight institutions in the pilot program, are considered "Seven Revolutions scholars," and constitute a panel to help guide the program nationally.

"Our job is not only to teach but to serve in an advisory capacity on the national program and encourage other universities to get involved," he said.

"We decided to make it a freshman-level course because it is interdisciplinary," said Brungardt. "As a matter of fact, this may help undecided students choose a major. It really allows students to see a wide scope of disciplines in action."

Enrollment for the course will be open for a week to 10 days after the start of classes on Monday, Aug. 20.

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