Leadership studies building

The Staley School of Leadership

Our history, our mission, our roots

The Mary Lynn and Warren Staley School of Leadership at Kansas State University is a values-centered learning community that provides an interdisciplinary minor in addition to an array of programs focused on civic engagement and service-learning activities – all with the purpose of educating students for and about leadership. Approximately 1,000 students are enrolled in the Leadership Studies Minor and we reach over 2,500 students through our programs and courses.

The Staley School provides students with academic knowledge and hands-on learning experiences that advance our mission of “Developing knowledgeable, ethical, caring, inclusive leaders for a diverse and changing world.” Students can participate in the Leadership Studies Minor, which offers a standard and nonprofit focus, as well as participate in co-curricular programming that focuses on personal and social responsibility. The interdisciplinary minor is designed to complement any academic major while providing a formal and structured learning experience as part of the total leadership development process. Staley School students represent every college in the university and bring breadth and depth to every class in the minor. Commitment to student development is first and foremost. The hallmark of the Staley School of Leadership is the focus on developing the whole person as a leader.

The discipline of Leadership Studies as it is taught at K-State is based on a broad definition of what constitutes leadership, best articulated by Joseph C. Rost (1991): “Leadership is an influence relationship among leaders and followers who intend real changes that reflect their mutual purposes.” Based on this definition and our mission statement, all courses and programs are designed to meet one or more of the following objectives:

  • Develop knowledge of self, group dynamics and communication processes, and current and historical perspectives on leadership.
  • Foster ethical decision-making through critical analysis, problem solving, and discussions about integrity and character.
  • Cultivate an inclusive world by encouraging open dialogue and sharing of stories and experiences in recognition of all that unites us.
  • Appreciate diversity by educating about a variety of cultures, studying leadership issues of special populations, and facilitating inter-cultural communication.
  • Recognize change as a vital part of the leadership process, and prepare future leaders to deal with change in a constructive way.