The Ann and John Doerr Institute for New Leaders (DINL) was founded with the strategic aim of transforming how students are developed as leaders in all top tier colleges and universities. In accepting the Doerrs' $50M donation, Rice committed to the proposition that all of its 6,200 graduate and undergraduate students should be offered a compelling, professionally-executed leader development experience of a scope and scale unprecedented among major universities. We see our work not as extra-curricular, but co-curricular -- we pay attention to academic program objectives and integrate university-wide to help faculty as they develop students, and help students develop themselves. DINL is accomplishing these aims through three broad leader development initiatives - Strategic Integration, Leveraging Rice Culture, and Direct Development. As you read through the initiatives, imagine how our world might be different if every college and university took this approach.
We create efficiencies and greater effectiveness in the systems that develop leaders at Rice.
The DINL makes leader development more effective across university agencies by increasing cross talk and positions the DINL as a consultant and collaborator on leader development matters at Rice. DINL plans, schedules, and facilitates Council meetings and collegially encourages active participation by centers, institutes, and schools who have leader development aims.
The DINL is constructing a web based platform for evaluating students' needs for leader development and making recommendations for students to engage in leader development activities across campus in the most efficient and effective way. Currently similar technologies exist, but are set up to support human resource management in for-profit entities.
The DINL supports original, cutting edge leader development at Rice with technologies tailored to DINL development methods. We support teams of student and expert technologists to that end.
Methods to leverage Rice culture ensure a goodness of fit between Rice needs and culture, and the DINL.
We have found that few leader development initiatives at colleges and universities have well-crafted, objective outcome measures. The Third Eye is a DINL-sponsored metrics and measurement team, led by a measurement professional, that assists the Doerr Institute and other Rice leader development initiatives with assessments of their efficacy, impact, and success at developing leaders, for measuring the prior leadership experience of inbound students, and for measuring leadership excellence in the alumni base. We assist in the measurement of leader development outcomes for all leader development initiatives, university wide.
To ensure goodness of fit with Rice culture, DINL systematically involves students in DINL management — to include the Student Association president. These students assist with design strategies that ensures leader development is compatible with the experience of all students, and particularly first generation students, students in part time work environments, student activists, and international students.
The DINL is establishing award and recognition structures for students and faculty, and by establishing leadership criteria for awards for Rice alumni.
The DINL commits double digit percentages of its funding to the support of faculty research initiatives that inform leader development in their respective disciplines, and more than half of that support is intended for curriculum development that explores how teaching in a given discipline can also contribute to the development of students as leaders. These grants are intended to be particularly beneficial to faculty in the humanities and arts, where novel and creative approaches to leader development may emerge.
Direct development ensures that Rice students will increase their capacity to lead because their development is designed speci cally for them and for their circumstances, and is professionally guided. This method maximizes the use of International Coach Federation (ICF) certified coaches that are educated, trained, and experienced at developing others (students rate such coaches as far superior to untrained advisors and mentors).
DINL has designed a professional support system for team and leader development, focused on research and engineering project teams. DINL initiated this at the request of Rice faculty who wanted their research teams to develop their students’ capabilities beyond what they could do as faculty advisors. DINL provides special support to the research teams of interested faculty in the form of group coaching and other forms of team development. Prof. Eduardo Salas, faculty lead for the project, is well known in the team development space.
The DINL increases the capacity of Rice students to lead by increasing their self-awareness and giving them professional assistance in personal development. The strategy is to provide the opportunity for professional coaching in a two-step process. Undergraduates will be offered, at their option, a series of activities, assessments, and assignments that they will need to complete to prepare and qualify for the privilege of being professionally coached. They will then work with DINL to schedule a meeting with an ICF coach. The coach and the student will create a leader development plan for the student in the context of existing commitments (such as classroom project teams, athletic teams, musical groups, residential college activities, students employed on or off the university, etc.). Follow up sessions encourage, measure, and track progress. The coaching relationship concludes when the student goals are achieved, or at the request of the student or the coach. The DINL does not use untrained mentors or advisors. Interested students may learn more and apply here.
While it would be terrific if merely studying under faculty would create a leader development outcome for students, DINL research on student outcomes suggests that faculty trained solely in their academic discipline, and without compelling leadership experience, are not uniformly successful in developing their students as leaders. DINL is developing an International Coach Federation approved training course to develop the coaching and leadership knowledge, skills, and abilities of interested graduate and undergraduate students, faculty, staff, the Houston community, and beyond. As most ILA members would agree, there is no substitute for formal education and training for those who seek to develop leaders. Much like other forms of accreditation for a university, we embrace third-party standards, in this case from the ICF. ICF standards help ensure an evenly high level of skills, provide a common set of ethical standards, and provide a competency-based learning requirement for those who seek the privilege of interacting with our students.
DINL research revealed that peers and upper class students play a significant role in developing student leaders at Rice — ranked higher than faculty, mentors, and other advisors. DINL seeks to train upper class and graduate students to enable them to competently develop peers as new leaders, and to provide the administrative process to manage a system of development driven by peer to peer interaction. This 60-hour non-credit program is designed to cover leader competencies while developing a personal vision for leadership. Interested students may learn more and apply here.
We count ourselves fortunate that leader development has such a uniquely important status at Rice. We hold both an aspirational and pragmatic view of leader development -- envisioning is a good thing, but execution is everything. As we execute, DINL is committed to the highest possible standards and strategies for developing students as leaders, and hope that other college and universities will join wth us in that commitments.