Developing ethical world-changing leaders goal of new UCCS program


Philip Denman/University of Colorado
Garrett Gatlin presents at the Dec. 12 campus forum

Bringing executive-level leadership education to undergraduates is the goal of a new UCCS program.

Garrett Gatlin, interim director, Chancellor’s Leadership Class, outlined a plan called UCCSlead during the Dec. 12 campus forum. The plan expands UCCS student leadership efforts beyond the scholarship program-based Chancellor’s Leadership Class to reach students of all academic levels. Eventually, Gatlin hopes to reach as many as 1,000 students with leadership training similar to what an executive might receive mid-career. Students can participate at three different levels and be eligible for recognition upon graduation.

There is a demand for leadership development among students that is not being met, both Gatlin and Chancellor Pam Shockley-Zalabak said. Last year, there were 458 applications for six positions in the Chancellor’s Leadership Class. Those figures helped drive the effort to find more ways to accommodate students interested in leadership studies.

“That kind of interest is great,” said Chancellor Pam Shockley-Zalabak. “But we need to be broad in our appeal. We are not trying to be so selective that we seem like Harvard. Our goal is access.”

This spring, Gatlin will pilot the new program with the goal of full implementation for the fall 2015 semester. The goal, Gatlin said, is to make leadership development a process during a student’s time at UCCS – not a single event.

Plans call for various modules that emphasize leadership for self, others, teams and organizations and allow students to earn certificates at three levels of involvement. The program will build on existing campus academic offerings and add extra-curricular activities, generally on Saturdays, to give students additional contact hours. The concept builds on efforts used to train executives by such organizations as the Center for Creative Leadership.

“We have a unique opportunity to develop engaged and ethical world-changing leaders,” Gatlin said.

Gatlin encouraged faculty and staff involvement in such areas as mentoring, becoming advocates for the program and serving as a facilitator. Brochures were distributed at the forum and Gatlin encouraged visits to a website,, or personal contact at either or by calling 719-255-3215.

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