Scholarly journals in education and business advance FHSU's commitment to research

Universities traditionally have a three-fold mission consisting of teaching, research and service, and while Fort Hays State University places an emphasis on teaching, two new scholarly journals demonstrate that research also ranks high in importance for FHSU faculty.

Dr. Edward H. Hammond, FHSU president, announced during a news conference this morning that the College of Education and Technology has acquired the "Academic Leadership Online Journal" and the College of Business and Leadership will soon launch the "Journal of Business and Leadership: Research, Practice and Teaching."

"Dr. Deryl Leaming founded the 'Academic Leadership Online Journal' in October 2001 for the purpose of giving a state, regional, national and international voice to scholars working in all fields that academic leadership addresses," President Hammond said. "As an FHSU alumnus, Dr. Leaming knows that quality research and scholarly activities of professionals in the academic field advance the research base of academic leadership. He saw the need to initiate a professional forum in which research and scholarship could be highlighted for the good of the academic profession and those the profession serves."

Dr. Leaming retired recently and turned the online journal over to FHSU as a gift. A spring edition and a summer edition have already have been posed from FHSU. The journal can be found on the Internet at

President Hammond said the second journal was being created by the College of Business and Leadership to improve its academic qualifications, maintain its instructional currency and enhance its overall scholastic reputation. The first edition of this print journal will be distributed in the early spring of 2006.

"These journals demonstrate the same kind of commitment that inspired our faculty to create the Research Environment Task Force two years ago," the president said. "The task force publishes a newsletter, 'Research Matters,' to report on research and creative activity at the university, and these two new journals will greatly expand the reach of our research efforts." The president also noted that as an online publication, the education journal illustrates FHSU's mission to integrate cutting edge technology into its academic environment.

Dr. Debbie Mercer, interim dean of the College of Education and Technology, acknowledged the gracious donation of Dr. Leaming's online journal. "Dr. Leaming nurtured this journal through its innovative infant stage to a mature, respected stage," she said. "His confidence in his alma mater and specifically our college is humbling. This generous gift provides not only FHSU faculty, but colleagues throughout the state, country and world, a vehicle with which to read, study, reflect, learn and publish. The research environment within the college and on campus continues to grow and strengthen through heightened awareness, focused importance and scholarly leadership."

Dr. Leaming, who was ill and unable to attend the news conference, earned a B.A. from FHSU, a master's from the University of Nebraska and a Ph.D. in mass communication from Syracuse University. He is a former professor of journalism and dean of the College of Mass Communication at Middle Tennessee State University. Besides creating the Academic Leadership Online Journal, he has written journal articles and books, including "Academic Leadership: A Practical Guide to Chairing the Department."

"As the journal grows in its new home at FHSU, we are inviting our graduate students and leaders from PK-12 schools to contribute to the body of research in leadership," said Dr. Kathy Dale, interim chair of the Department of Educational Administration and Counseling at FHSU and editor of the journal. "The Web site has expanded to include Student Research, Leader Action Tips, Book Reviews and Leadership Trainings. In the future, the Web site will host an online store to assist contributing authors in publicizing their published research."

Dr. Dale added that a Journal Advisory Board comprised of the Education Administration faculty -- Dr. Mike Slattery, Dr. Regi Wieland and Dr. Ray Johnson --monitors journal policy and procedures, including the peer review process, a blind review that includes reviewers from across disciplines from multiple universities.

Dr. Steve Williams, dean of the College of Business and Leadership, said: "Our college continues to be committed to scholarly activity. We see a vibrant and viable research culture as one of the essential building blocks in our strategic plan. One of the major ways we continuously improve the quality of the education our students receive is to focus on current and relevant research issues. Two major initiatives demonstrating our strong commitment to research are the new journal, which provides researchers, practitioners, and teachers alike with the most recent and relevant findings in their fields, and the annual Business and Leadership Symposium, which starts tomorrow and runs through Thursday. The journal, which is published through our Management Development Center, is a high quality, peer-refereed journal presenting cutting edge research findings, practical applications and pedagogical advances in the broad areas of leadership and business."

The journal is edited by Dr. Mohamed Zainuba, director of the Management Development Center. "The business journal was created in response to the growing need of academic, organizational and corporate leaders nationwide and globally to share their expertise, practices and research findings in the areas of business and leadership with colleagues from the academic and non-academic sectors," Dr. Zainuba said.

The Business and Leadership Symposium, an annual conference focusing on exchanging ideas, identifying emerging trends, learning new approaches and examining issues related to the disciplines of business and leadership, has on-site registration available to all interested parties at 8 a.m. Wednesday in the FHSU Memorial Union. The symposium resumes at 8 a.m. on Thursday. Day one on Wednesday is a full day and has been designed to provide business professionals in western Kansas and beyond a rare opportunity to benefit from the latest research on issues of leadership, human resources and strategic management, among other topics. Day two, on Thursday, which ends at 1 pm, focuses primarily on pedagogical and instructionally related issues.

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