Campus News

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

News Release

June 12, 2003

U of G conference to highlight ‘The Learning of Leadership'

"The Learning of Leadership" is the focus of the University of Guelph's second annual Leadership Conference June 24 and 25. The theme was inspired by the words of Elyse Allan, the first woman to head the Toronto Board of Trade in its 150-year history, at last year's conference: "Leadership can be learned, therefore it should be taught!"

The topic will be examined from many angles. More than 15 speakers from different sectors will share their perspectives on what makes an effective leader, their approaches in mentoring new leaders and will explore the role leadership plays in government, corporate and public sectors.

Conference attendees will include mid-career professionals from the private, public and not-for-profit sectors looking to advance both personally and professionally. Open registration is also available for interested members of the public and the academic community.

Five different models for teaching leadership will be featured in separate presentations, ranging from Annamie Paul describing her program at the Canadian Centre for Political Leadership, which helps those in minority communities learn the arts of running for political office and entering the Canadian mainstream, to Ann Gordon of the Advanced Agricultural Leadership Program outlining its long-standing successes in training leaders for rural communities.

Other speakers include Canada's former ambassador to Cuba, Mark Entwistle, who will share his experiences about ‘Learning Leadership in Public Service;' Nathalie Des Rosiers, president of the Law Commission of Canada, who will highlight the process of reform by leading through ideas; and Toronto MP Dr. Carolyn Bennett, who will discuss how to teach leadership by drawing on her experiences in forming a community health practice, developing effective democratic participation processes at the constituency level, and leading a women's caucus in Parliament.

Health aspects of leadership will be another feature of the conference. Edguardo Perez, CEO of Guelph's Homewood Health Centre, will consider the challenges to learning leadership when one considers personalities, leadership styles and organizational cultures and Karen Korabik, U of G psychology professor and research director of the Centre for Families, Work and Well-Being, will present new research results on the personal leadership balance.

Former Ontario premier Bill Davis will address "Lessons for Leaders" at a June 24 banquet at the Cutten Club. University of Guelph chancellor Lincoln Alexander will preside at the evening event, which will include the presentation of leadership diplomas to the first students to complete U of G's new leadership program.

The conference will also mark the launch of Leading in an Upside-Down World, edited by Patrick Boyer, conference chair and U of G adjunct political science professor. Based on last year's conference proceedings, the book contains 17 chapters providing new Canadian perspectives on leadership and includes a foreword by Hon. Paul Martin.

"The world as we know it has been turned upside down," said Boyer. "As a result, our very concept of leadership itself has taken on new meanings. Guelph's leadership conference will help participants define, understand and learn how to rise to this new leadership challenge. Elyse Allan was right — there's no better place to teach innovative leadership than in a university setting totally focused on that mission."

The conference coincides with U of G's online diploma in leadership's residential course offered through the Faculty of Management and the Office of Open Learning.

The fee for the full conference is $225 and includes conference sessions, refreshments and the banquet. The cost for individual half-day sessions is $50, $25 for seniors and students. The complete program and registration form are available online at

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt (519) 824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Rachelle Cooper, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982.

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