Improvements in Leadership Education & Development

Our Work

In January 2020 the Doerr Institute of New Leaders hosted a working meeting of 30 scholars and practitioners from a broad range of institution types (as categorized by the Basic Classification) to draft an application framework for a new Elective Classification for Leadership to be proposed to the Carnegie Foundation. This would be the second such endorsement the Carnegie Foundation would sponsor alongside the well-established Community Engagement Classification and other future Elective Classifications. During the working meeting, which spanned two and a half days, scholars and practitioners considered a variety of questions about leadership in higher education today. Key among those questions:

What would an institution that was committed to leadership for public purpose look like, act like, be like?

Throughout the two and a half days, attendees discussed practices and principles that would demonstrate a level of institutional commitment sufficient for an Elective Classification. The consortium did this by examining how leadership education, development, and research relates to the public purpose of higher education and how a classification can serve as a catalyst to sectorial improvement.

Meeting attendees agreed that leadership education and development is a core function of American higher education and represents an applicable tangible skillset for furthering civil discourse and public good around the globe. A charrette process allowed participants to advance different perspectives about what might constitute evidence of an institution's commitment to leadership for a public purpose.

After concluding the working meeting, a first draft of the application framework was developed using the insights from the group and guidance from Mathew Johnson and Paul LeMahieu from the Carnegie Foundation. The next phase of development will involve input from a broad range of stakeholders and their reflection on the initial draft. Our goal is to have a second draft, with stakeholder input considered, as soon as possible for proposal to the Carnegie Foundation.

Check out some materials from the consortium meeting.

Join the #LeadershipReckoning.

If you would like to join our consortium of individuals and institutions sharing best practices and creating an improvement process for higher education, please click the button below.

Join the Reckoning


Please reach out to Carla Ortega Santori at with any questions.