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Center for Ethical Leadership


For a full version of this statement, click to see the Center for Ethical Leadership Proposal.

Contemporary studies of leadership suggest strongly that our nation needs ethical and imaginative leaders at every level. The future of our society depends on leaders who are capable of providing strong leadership, who understand that leadership means service, and who believe that their very citizenship carries the obligation to lead when circumstances require. The study of ethical leadership is a critical component of a public affairs education, and it must be incorporated into a student's experience along with the traditional emphasis on policy analysis and formulation.

Through the creation of a Center for Ethical Leadership in the LBJ School of Public Affairs, the school intends to self-consciously promote the development of leadership potential among our students and other constituents. The Center for Ethical Leadership will prepare graduates for leadership positions in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors and for the ethical challenges they will encounter throughout their careers.

The Center for Ethical Leadership rests on four premises.

  1. The long-term success of an organization, community or society depends on good leadership, not just on technical proficiency and skillful management.
  2. Good leadership must be grounded in ethical values.
  3. There are tensions between personal values and goals, on the one hand, and organizational, community, or societal values and goals on the other. Ethical leadership involves recognizing and reconciling those tensions.
  4. Although leadership is a complex form of human behavior, most of what we think of as leadership is learned and, therefore, can be taught.

The mission of the Center for Ethical Leadership is to promote ethical leadership in our society through education, research, and service to community. The Center will serve as a teaching, research, and information focal point for students and educators from all disciplines as well as for practitioners and other interested parties.

To meet the goals of the Center to advance ethical leadership, programs will be offered in the following areas:

Education: The Center will offer graduate courses in leadership to students from all disciplines in the area of ethical leadership. In addition, it will sponsor a Leader-in-Residence Program to bring outstanding leaders to the LBJ School, and will host an International Leadership Education Conference. Through a Fellowship in Public Leadership, the Center will strive to develop the leadership potential of selected students.

Research: The Center will strive to advance understanding of ethical leadership through research on topics relating to leadership theory and practice in the public sector and non-profit organizations. Of special importance will be studies to determine the impact of leadership on the ethical quality of public sector work organizations. The Center will also conduct research to determine the comparative effectiveness of different leader development strategies, including evaluation of both classroom and experiential learning methods.

Service to Community: The Center will offer two major services: seminars for leaders in government, business, and education, and consultation for organizations that are struggling with leadership challenges.


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Page Last Modified: 11 May 2016
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