The commitment to developing future leaders at Kansas State University (K-State) was a vision of Vice President Pat Bosco who believed that leadership can be learned. Vice President Bosco pondered what prepares student leaders at K-State to assume leadership roles at the collegiate level. In 1988, he conducted a study to identify the high school background of the leaders of the K-State student body. In addition to having a higher than average ACT score, Bosco discovered that collegiate leaders began practicing leadership in high school. Bosco working with Dr. Susan M. Scott, Associate Dean of Students, initiated a leadership scholarship program that identified high school leaders who demonstrated an interest in leadership. One hundred and thirty-six students received leadership scholarships that first year.
In the spring of 1996, the Institutional Advancement Staff (Drs. Susan M. Scott and Pat Bosco) approached the Department of Educational Leadership faculty (Drs. Robert Shoop and David Thompson) in regard to a joint sponsorship of an interdisciplinary minor in Leadership Studies. In addition to academic classes, nonacademic programming was also proposed. Leadership classes had been taught at K-State in various formats since the mid-1980's. The minor was planned as a consolidation and extension of these previous efforts with the intention of offering K-State students the opportunity to learn about and apply leadership theories and skills across academic disciplines. The Department of Educational Administration, in the College of Education, under the leadership of Dr. David Thompson made a commitment to prepare leaders rather than simply train school administrators. This shift in commitment was symbolized when the department changed its name to the Department of Educational Administration and Leadership. Dr. Robert Shoop, a faculty member in this department, began to develop courses in leadership.
The initial proposal for the interdisciplinary minor was written in the summer of 1996 by Drs. Scott and Shoop. The proposal was given to Provost Coffman and Vice-President Krause and an interdisciplinary task force was established. The task force was chaired by Scott and Shoop. On the 3rd of March 1997, the Kansas Board of Regents approved an 18- hour interdisciplinary minor in Leadership Studies.
The staff in the spring of 1997 consisted of 1.5 faculty, with an operating budget of less than $5,000. Dr. Susan M. Scott served as Director, beginning in 1996, and Dr. Robert Shoop was Professor and Senior Scholar in the same year. The first class (Introduction to Leadership Concepts) was taught to the general student body in the spring of 1997 and the first Practicum in Leadership Studies was also taught.
In the fall of 1997, a section of Introduction to Leadership Concepts was offered to freshman scholarship students and 110 students enrolled. In that same semester, a proposal was drafted to develop a Leadership Institute to coordinate and strengthen all leadership efforts across campus. The first Practicum in Leadership Studies was offered, later changed to Leadership and Practice.
In the spring of 1998, Introduction to Leadership Concepts was approved for general education credit and the first Leadership for the 21st Century Senior Seminar class was taught (later named Senior Seminar in Leadership Studies). Service learning was integrated into Leadership Studies through a grant from K-State's Community Service Program. In order to ensure that the program was responsive to the needs of the students, a Leadership Studies Student Advisory board was elected. This board was later named the Leadership Studies and Programs Student Ambassadors. In the spring of 1998, thirteen students constituted the first Leadership Studies graduating class.
Aubrey Abbott assumes the Coordinator of Leadership Studies and Programs position in the summer of 1998. Also in the summer of 1998, Leadership Lessons from Bill Snyder was authored by Drs. Susan M. Scott and Robert Shoop. The book sold 27,000 copies the first month. The majority of the royalties from this book were contributed to Leadership Studies and Programs.
In the fall of 1998, Sue Peterson is named Director of the K-State Leadership Institute. Dr. Robert Shoop wrote A University Renaissance: Jon Wefald's Presidency at Kansas State. The book is based on the leadership of President Jon Wefald to highlight the leadership principles taught in the introductory course.
Aubrey Abbott and Amy Donahy assume the position of Assistant Directors of Leadership Studies and Programs in the spring of 1999. Leadership Studies and Program Ambassadors elected their first Executive Council and Chairperson, Jamie Regehr. Outgrowing its initial home in Holton Hall, Leadership Studies and Programs relocates to 914 N. Manhattan Avenue in 1999, across from campus. The program utilizes dozens of other classrooms across campus. In cooperation with Institutional Advancement, Colbert Hills Golf Course, the National First Tee program, and Leadership Studies and Programs, the Earl Woods Youth Golf Academy is developed in the fall of 1999.
Amy Donahy left Leadership Studies and Programs in 2000. Aubrey Abbott Patterson left in 2001 to pursue a graduate degree in philanthropic studies. Jonas Stewart assumes the Assistant Director of Leadership Studies position in 2001 and left in 2002. Candi Hironaka is hired in June 2000, as Assistant Director of Programming, her title has since changed to Senior Associate Director for Student, Alumni, and Community Relations. Denise Gunter is hired in July 2000 as Administrative Assistant and later assumes the position Academic Advisor/Programming Assistant; her title has since changed to Academic Advisor/Coordinator of Student Records. In 2000, the property at 918 N. Manhattan Avenue was obtained to become the main office of Leadership Studies and Programs.
Dr. Mary Kay Siefers is hired part-time January 2001 and assumed fulltime responsibilities in August 2001, as Assistant Professor. Her title has since changed to Senior Associate Director for Academic Affairs/Assistant Professor. Heath Harding was hired in June 2002 as Assistant Director for Advancement/Instructor, and left in September 2005 for Eugene, Oregon and is currently in graduate school at the University of Nebraska. Dr. Ata Karim joins the faculty/staff in July 2002 as Senior Associate Director for Administration/Assistant Professor, and left July 2005 for Seattle, Washington to be an Independent Consultant and President of Global Leadership Solutions. Karim served as an adjunct faculty member until spring 2009. Jim Barnes serves as computer and technical assistance support. His services have spanned over 10 years.
In June 2003, the core courses changed from three to four with the addition of Culture and Context of Leadership and the elective requirement changed from four to three (ethics, theory, foundations). Dr. Olivia Collins is hired .4 time in August 2003, as an instructor. Dr. Nancy Bolsen joins the faculty/staff at .4 time in January 2004 as Director of American Humanics, and to start the nonprofit leadership minor with the assistance of Collins. The first nonprofit course is offered in the fall of 2005. Bolsen left in December 2005 to assume the fulltime position, Director of Adult Student Services on campus. Dr. Olivia Collins assumes the position, Director of American Humanics/Assistant Professor in the summer of 2006
By the fall of 2003, leadership studies had grown into the largest academic program at K-State with over 1,100 students enrolled. Despite the large number of students, the program was able to maintain relatively small core courses where student input and involvement are encouraged. This focus on student participation with the leadership studies minor and various extracurricular programs offered continues to be the foundation of the program's success.
Students are hired as Special Project Student Coordinator to the Director. One of the main duties include gathering Leadership Studies current information, and creating, publishing and distributing this information in an annual newsletter named the "Loop". These students included Lindsay Glatz, 2003 to 2004, Leigh Fine and Amanda Mesirow, 2005, Lauren Luhrs 2006-2007, also editor and publisher for the 2008 Loop, and Bridget Howland in 2009, and Morgan Holechek in 2010.
Sue Pray is hired in September 2004 as Senior Administrative Assistant and currently holds the title Administrative Officer. Grace Hwang joins the faculty/staff January 2005 as Assistant Professor. Dr. Irma O'Dell is hired in July 2005 as Senior Associate Director for Administration/Associate Professor. Jake Worcester is hired in August 2006 as Director of Development for Leadership Studies. Worcester leaves in August 2007. Todd Wells joins the faculty/staff in January 2006 as Assistant Director for Programming/Instructor. At the end of the 2008 fall semester, Wells leaves the program for a position at the University of South Florida. In the fall of 2005, joins the faculty as a Graduate Teaching Assistant.
The original mission statement of Leadership Studies and Programs: Developing knowledgeable, ethical, caring leaders for a diverse world. As of 2005, the mission was reassessed and rewritten. With the addition of the words inclusive and changing, the mission statement became "Developing knowledgeable, ethical, caring, inclusive leaders for a diverse and changing world."
A reconfiguration with Community Service Programs took place in the spring of 2006. The Director (Mary Tolar) and eleven staff (Lynda Bachelor, Kourtney Bettinger, Cierra Elder, Mitzi Frieling, Trisha Gott, Laura Harding, Jessica Hemberger, Chris Lavergne, Joseph McLean, Monica Parrish, and Whitney Szczucinski) joined Leadership Studies and Programs. A joining day celebration was held in the Student Union Flinthills Room, on the 17th of February 2006. As a result of the reconfiguration, the K-State Community Service Program now operates as Civic Leadership. American Humanics has also become a part of Civic Leadership. Coach Bill Snyder joins the program in the spring of 2006, upon his retirement as K-state football coach. Coach Snyder leaves the position and resumes his coaching position in the spring of 2009. Course call letters change from EDADL to EDLST, in the College of Education, Department of Educational Leadership, and then to LEAD in 2009.
September 2006, a Strategic Planning Committee was formed to assess and realign the goals and vision of Leadership Studies. The group was facilitated by Lynn Carlin and consultant Ren Calhoun.
Patrick Simpson joins the staff as an AmeriCorp*VISTA for K-State. Kourtney Bettinger, Laura Harding, and Jessica Hemberger graduate. Adjunct instructor Sarah Decke leaves for Arizona State University Polytechnic Campus and Adjunct instructor Kay Stewart leaves to continue her work in financial planning. Joseph McLean completes his AmeriCorps*VISTA Leader service in July 2006 and returns home to Canada. Chris Lydick leaves the program. Ben Hopper serves as an adjunct instructor for Leadership Studies and Programs between 2005-2008.
Michael Finnegan joins the faculty in the fall of 2006 as Instructor and Coordinator of Introduction to Leadership Concepts. Also, Kevin Cook and Gayle Spencer continue their relationship with the program as adjunct instructors. Lauren Luhrs continues her work with the Advancement Council as a student intern to assist with a variety of projects including the Loop Newsletter. Mary Marston is hired as Executive Director of Kansas Campus Compact. Dr. Gilbert Davila and Chris Lydick join the program as adjunct instructors. Chance Lee joins the staff as International Teams Student Coordinator; Reesa Darby joins the program as Student Coordinator for America Reads/America Counts Tutoring; Danielle English joins as American Humanics Student Coordinator; and Arpad Szentkiralyi joins the staff as AmeriCorps*VISTA Leader.
In the spring of 2007, Heather Reed joins the program as an adjunct instructor. Dr. Gilbert Davila is hired as Assistant Professor. Kevin Cook leaves the program but continues his work with housing and dining at the university. Suzanne Mayo leaves the program to concentrate on her doctoral work but returns for one semester in the spring of 2009 as an adjunct faculty member. Jake Worcester leaves the program to work on the east coast. Chance Lee graduates and begins work with Teach for America in Hawaii.
In the summer of 2007, Denise Gunter leaves the program and moves to Nebraska. Kourtney Cierna, Trisha Gott, Lauren Luhrs graduate. Patrick Simpson concludes his service as AmeriCorp* Vista. Lynn Brickley is hired as Academic Advisor/Coordinator of Student Records and Andy Wefald is hired as visiting assistant professor, fall 2007. Alicia Addison and Dana Maxwell are hired as staff assistant and graduate assistant respectively. Alicia Addison later becomes Administrative Assistant in the fall of 2007. Wade Weber is hired as a graduate teaching assistant for American Humantics. Mary Marston leaves for Nebraska. Arpad Szentkiralyi concludes his service as AmeriCorps* VISTA Leader. Reesa Darby and Danielle English graduate.
The Office of Educational Innovation and Evaluation is hired to evaluate the first ten years of Leadership Studies and Programs. In 2007, a decade after LSP's founding, its leadership and the executive committee of its Advancement Council decided that program evaluation should be undertaken. A major evaluation of LSP would provide a dynamic retrospective study of the past 10 years of the program, as well as provide essential data for staff and stakeholders to use for ongoing program improvement and strategic planning. A plan for a 10- year program evaluation study was drafted and the study was funded by Advancement Council member A.J. Scribante and Sunny Scribante. The resultant work included the first decade of the existence of LSP at K-State, from 1996, when LSP was initially conceived, to 2007, when the School of Leadership Studies was formed and ground was broken for the new leadership studies building on the K-State campus.
Ten year anniversary celebration of Leadership Studies. 1997-2007 and 20 year anniversary of the Community Service Program on Thursday, March 15, 2007. Highlight of the event was the Leadership Studies faculty and staff performing a special leadership "stomp" choreographed by the Alpha Phi Fraternity. There was also a very large birthday cake to share with those attending the celebration.
A ground breaking ceremony takes place at the new site for the program on the 18th of April. On the 1st of July 2008, Leadership Studies and Programs becomes the School of Leadership Studies (SLS). The governing body of the School of leadership Studies is the Director, Provost and Dean of the College of Education.
In the fall of 2008, Dr. Rebecca Reichard joins the faculty as Assistant Professor. John Carlin joins the faculty as Visiting Professor Executive in Residence. Michael Smith is hired as a research assistant. Michael leaves at the end of the academic year for a position in Texas but returns in the fall of 2010 as a research assistant. Steve Godecke is hired as AmeriCorps*VISTA Leader. Kim Frazier and Julie Stithem assume the position of AmeriCorps*VISTA. Student coordinators for AmeriCorps* VISTA are LeAnn Meyers, Richard Weerts, and Kale Monk. Matthew Lindsey assumes the position of Kansas Campus Compact Executive Director. Molly Hamm serves as student coordinator for American Humantics. International Teams is coordinated by Danielle Wong and Meredith Lynch. Mitzi Freiling leaves the program. In the fall of 2008, Steve Godecke leaves for a position in Oklahoma.
Hired in June 2009, Tanner Banion, Kansas Campus Compact Program Associate. He continues to work in the Volunteer Center office.
Hired in July 2009, Angela Deckard, AmeriCorps*VISTA Leader for Kansas Campus Compact, professional title is Licensed Master Social Worker.
At the beginning of spring semester 2009, Susan M. Scott steps down as Director of the School of Leadership Studies and assumes the position and title, Associate Professor/Senior Advisor. Mary Hale Tolar is hired as the interim Director. Duties commence the first of January 2009. In the spring of 2009, Cynthia Neifield joins the program as an adjunct faculty member. Bill Meredith, Sharon Breiner, Trisha Gott, Ken Gowdy, David Jones, and Susan Maxwell join SLS as adjunct faculty members. Dorothy Smith is hired as Executive Assistant to the Director in the summer of 2009. Alicia Addison, Wade Weber and Dana Maxwell leave the program.
In the summer of 2009, Paul Phelps joins the program as Administrative Assistant. Trisha Gott joins the program as an instructor and program coordinator. Paula leaves at the beginning of the spring 2010 semester. Rebecca Reichard leaves the program for Claremont Graduate University.
In the fall of 2009, it is official! Dr. Mary Hale Tolar is named the Director of the School of Leadership Studies/Assistant Professor. Susan Maxwell, Lynn Brickley, Molly Hamm, Danielle Wong, Steve Gordecke, Kim Frazier and Julie Stithem leave the program. Sara Weber joins the program as AmeriCorp* Vista. Marcia Horung joins the program as an adjunct faculty member, to teach the theories of nonprofit leadership course.
On the 11th of January 2010, the faculty/staff of the School of Leadership Studies move into the new Leadership Studies Building. Lori Kniffin joins the program as Senior Administrative Assistant. Tamara Bauer joins the program in the spring of 2010 as Coordinator of Student Service and Communications. Laura Tietjen joins the program as adjunct instructor for the summer. Cynthia Neifield leaves the program.
In the fall of 2010, Nidhi Bhandari and Sharon Breiner join the program as instructors and Diane Hinrichs joins the program as an adjunct instructor along with JR Love who is hired as a Graduate Teaching Assistant in the fall of 2010. In the fall semester of 2011, John Hatfield joins the program as Assistant Director for Kansas Campus Compact and Kyle Van Ittersum joins the program as a Graduate Research Assistant. Jerry Huber is hired in the spring of 2011 to serve as Assistant Project Coordinator for HandsOn Kansas State. Megan-Anne Perrin serves as a Graduate Assistant for Kansas Campus Compact. Jerry Huber and Megan-Anne Perrin graduate.
In Fall 2012, three new faculty members are welcomed: Kerry Priest Assistant Professor, Chance Lee Instructor and Leigh Fine Visiting Assistant Professor.
Perhaps President Jon Wefald summarized it best when he said, "Kansas State University's Office of Leadership Studies and Programs is going places. Not only is it unique within the Big 12, it is the fastest growing and widest reaching academic program at this university. To address the increasing student demand for leadership education, Leadership Studies and Programs must seek additional resources. Please join me in supporting Leadership Studies and Programs in all of its future endeavors."