Center for the Study of Higher Education: College of Education. (Research Centers at the University of Memphis)

By Murrell, Patricia H. | Business Perspectives, Spring 2003 | Go to article overview

Center for the Study of Higher Education: College of Education. (Research Centers at the University of Memphis)


Murrell, Patricia H., Business Perspectives


The purpose of the Center for the Study of Higher Education is to study, promote, and support life-long learning. This extends to both institutional and individual efforts, and to both developmental needs and organizational needs. One of the primary areas on which the Center focuses is leadership development. We define leadership as follows:

Leadership Is The Capacity To Discern And Develop One's Resources, Whether Human Or Material. It Further Involves Marshaling Those Resources In Resolving A Problem, Realizing A Vision, Or Achieving A Goal. It Starts With Who We Are And Then Moves To What We Do. Education Is The Most Powerful Tool In The Leader's Repertoire.

With this underpinning, the Center provides leadership education and training for a wide range of professional groups in the Mid-South and in the nation. Beginning with the establishment of the Leadership Institute in Judicial Education, our approach has emphasized the being of the leader as well as the doing, an effort to deepen the soul of the leader as well as to strengthen the role. Working with judges and other court personnel in 44 states, the District of Columbia, and Guam and with seven national organizations, we offer programs that are transformational in addition to being informational.

The roots of the Center's education and training programs for leaders began in programs for state judges and have expanded to include the entire court system, spanning positions as diverse as court clerks and reporters to members of state Supreme Courts. For this work, the Center has received three national awards: the State Justice Institute's Howell Heflin Award, the National Center for State Courts' Warren Burger Award, and the American Law Institute/American Bar Association's Harrison Tweed Award. These awards acknowledge the contribution that the Center has made to the quality of justice in state courts. Funded by the State Justice Institute, the program also recently received a Tennessee Board of Regents' Excellence and Quality Award in recognition of its national prominence.

On this foundation, leadership programs have been developed for healthcare management, clergy, lawyers, higher education faculty and administration, corporate management, and non-profit boards. Topics such as experiential learning and learning styles, adult development and cognitive complexity, generational change, cultural competence, ethics and professionalism, emotional intelligence, and wellness are offered through continuing professional education and staff development. Literature plays a significant part in our programs, as do cultural attractions in Memphis such as the National Civil Rights Museum and Memphis music. In addition to workshops, consultation is provided in career enhancement and organizational succession as well as in course and curriculum development. Several thousand individuals have benefited from these services.

Material on how people learn is especially pertinent to individuals or organizations that are planning to deliver educational programs electronically. An understanding of teaching strategies that reflect this appreciation should precede the application via technology. …

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