Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

May 15, 2002

U of G offers new diploma in leadership

Some people maintain that great leaders are born. But University of Guelph educators contend that it takes more than innate ability and have designed a new diploma program to teach the knowledge, skills and confidence that leadership requires.

“Great leaders are made,” said Alun Joseph, dean of the College of Social and Applied Human Sciences, who helped create the Diploma in Leadership Program with the Office of Open Learning. “And in an era of constant change and limited resources, organizations need leaders with vision, integrity, creativity and commitment.”

The five-course program will start in July, and applications are currently being accepted. The program is aimed at mid-career professionals and will provide them with the education, skills and development needed to become effective leaders, said Virginia Gray, director of the Office of Open Learning. “The program will focus on the challenges facing leaders in the public, private and non-profit sectors, with an emphasis on the interaction between and interdependency of these spheres in the contemporary world,” she said.

The program will also bring together a collection of professionals with diverse experiences and outlooks, Gray added. “By fostering this interaction and exchange of perspectives and knowledge, it will provide a unique opportunity for participants to enhance their understanding of the issues faced by a range of organizations and their leaders.”

The program was designed to minimize disruption to work. Classes will be conducted online, with a one-week intensive residential session held on campus during the summer. “This is an excellent educational opportunity that incorporates learning and work experiences and accommodates the schedules of professional employees,” said John Walsh, associate dean of the Faculty of Management and a member of the leadership team. “It is about creating leaders who will make a difference.”

The five courses will explore the foundations, theory, ethics, organizational change and decision-making involved in leadership. The diploma program will draw on the strengths of the university’s existing programs, particularly in political science, psychology, sociology, and anthropology. “One of the unique aspects of this is that it’s rooted in the social sciences,” said Maureen Mancuso, associate vice-president (academic), who helped design the program. “It’s a broad approach to the study of leadership, is inclusive and all-encompassing and is not limited to one particular field. We believe this will make the program richer and more rewarding for participants.”

The university will officially launch the diploma program July 8. The 2002 Recognition of Leadership Conference, which runs from July 11 - 13 and includes lectures and workshops, will form part of the first course in the diploma program. People not enrolling in the diploma program may also register to attend the conference.

For more information about the content or learning objectives of the Diploma in Leadership, contact Prof. Michael Cox, at 824-4120, Ext. 6597 or For all other inquiries, contact Rick Nigol, Office of Open Learning, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 6777/, or visit the leadership program website.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 3338.

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