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Carnegie Leadership Classification

Carnegie Foundation Leadership for Public Purpose Classification


After completing and submitting a pilot application in December 2021 for a new Carnegie Foundation Elective Classification – Leadership for Public Purpose – Creighton University plans to submit an official application in the spring of 2022.

This new Elective Classification begins the process of creating an institutional and sector-level continuous improvement process, grounded in the identification and sharing of best practices in leadership education and development that can be transformative for higher education.

The applications framework was developed through a partnership between the Doerr Institute for New Leaders at Rice University and the Carnegie Elective Classifications Team with guidance from the Carnegie Foundation.

Creighton’s commitment to develop leaders for the improvement of our world is deeply embedded in our identity as a Jesuit institution and it is part of our institutional mission and strategic plan. We enjoy a unique value proposition for prospective students and faculty because of our emphasis on leadership and social justice at an institutional level.

Pilot Application and Review Feedback

Creighton was one of only 13 higher education institutions nationally, and the only Jesuit university, to be invited to participate in the pilot application when it launched on March 1, 2021, and one of only eight to complete the application process and receive individual feedback from the Carnegie Foundation.

Creighton conducted a self-assessment process, documenting how it enhances the learning, teaching and research mission by:

  • Developing leadership abilities in all institutional stakeholders
  • Contributing to the public scholarly understanding of leadership
  • Preparing students for lives of leadership for public purpose

The reviewers praised Creighton’s participation in the pilot program and the University’s commitment to its Jesuit mission in developing leaders.

“Throughout the application, it is evident that there is a strong commitment to the Jesuit framework and the conceptual approach to leadership as a holistic experience framed within it,” the reviewers write.

Reviewers also shared the importance of developing a concise, institutionalized definition of Leadership for Public Purpose, as it is foundational to a successfully committed campus. Reviewers asked the University to demonstrate accomplishment in three areas:

  • Leadership is clearly emphasized as a University priority.
  • Leadership is defined in institutional strategic planning and branding initiatives.
  • Consistent definitions of leadership programming are present within co-curricular and curricular structures.

What is this new classification?

  • The Carnegie Project is a partnership with the Doerr Institute for New Leaders at Rice University. The Doerr Institute is committed to improvements in leadership education and development and has led to the establishment of a new Carnegie Elective Classification: Leadership for Public Purpose. Creighton was one of a select group of colleges and universities asked to participate in the pilot application process, for which the University completed a campus-wide self-study and submitted documents in December 2021. The University looks to begin the official application process in the spring of 2022.

What is leadership for public purpose?

  • According to the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, leadership for public purpose transcends functional or instrumental leadership (i.e., personal career or political gain, or narrow business or organization outcomes), in pursuit of collective public goods such as justice, equity, diversity and liberty. It is manifested in all realms of social life – private business, public and nonprofit institutions, neighborhood and community life, professional associations, civil and government institutions, religious institutions, and more.

What is required to achieve this classification?

  • Carnegie Foundation Elective Classifications require institutions to undergo a rigorous self-study process from which they provide evidence of their institutional indicators including: assessment of student learning; curricular and co-curricular offerings; faculty and staff rewards and contributions; mission statements; and strategic plans, etc. Institutions that provide evidence of an extraordinary institutional commitment receive the Carnegie Foundation’s endorsement as a Classified Institution.

Why is Creighton participating in this process?

  • Successfully achieving the Leadership for Public Purpose Classification will elevate Creighton as a national leader in leadership education and development. Creighton was among only 13 higher education institutions nationally, and the only Jesuit university, to be invited to participate in the pilot application process in 2021, and one of only eight to complete the application process.

Who is involved at the University?

  • With support from Provost Mardell Wilson, EdD, and President the Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ, PhD, the University formed a Leadership for Public Purpose Classification Committee in 2021 to begin the pilot process. The University looks to begin the official application process when it launches in the spring of 2022.

What do we hope to achieve through this process?

  • This designation will position Creighton’s commitment to Leadership for Public Purpose as a strategic differentiator among regional, national and Jesuit universities.  In addition to the Carnegie designation, this process allows Creighton to collectively define leadership within curricular, co-curricular and professional development. This alignment not only unites us in our definition of leadership, it also unites us in our mission to develop leaders who embrace Jesuit/Ignatian leadership values and practices.

What does this mean at a university setting?

  • Campuses that are committed to leadership for public purpose enhance the learning, teaching and research mission of their institutions by developing leadership abilities in all institutional stakeholders; contributing to the scholarly understanding of leadership as a public good and the sociopolitical contexts, systems, and practices within which all leadership resides; and preparing students for lives of leadership for public purpose in their careers, communities and the broader society.

Planning Team

  • Jennifer Moss Breen, PhD, associate professor, Interdisciplinary Leadership EdD
  • Steve Titus, JD, PhD, executive coaching practice leader, Academic Search
  • Deb Ford, PhD, associate vice provost for Teaching & Learning Center; associate professor, Interdisciplinary Leadership EdD Program
  • Kathryn Onorato, MS’15, MS’19, program manager, Center for Interprofessional Practice, Education and Research (CIPER) and Creighton University at Highlander
  • Elizabeth (Liz) Kiscaden, MLIS, AHIP, associate vice provost for ITLS/University Librarian
  • Venkata Giri Andukuri, MD, MPH, assistant professor, School of Medicine
  • Lydia Holtz, MBA, program coordinator, Department of Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Monica Chapeau, administrative assistant, Department of Interdisciplinary Studies

Omaha Campus Team

  • Tim Durham, BS, DDS, MPA, professor, School of Dentistry
  • Craig Dallon, JD, professor, School of Law
  • Ron Fussell, EdD, associate chair, Education Department; assistant professor, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Julia Shin EdD, MS, OTR/L, CKTP, assistant professor, School of Pharmacy and Health Professions
  • Ravi Nath, PhD, professor, Heider College of Business; Jack and Joan McGraw Endowed Chair in Information Technology Management
  • Rick Davis, director of communications, University Communications and Marketing
  • Andy Kammerer, senior director of corporate and foundation relations, University Relations
  • Nancy Schrage, senior human resource generalist, Human Resources
  • Katie Kelsey, director, student leadership and involvement center, Division of Student Life

Phoenix Campus Team

  • Erica Brown, executive director, Arizona Health Education Alliance
  • Jim Lynskey, associate professor, program chair – Phoenix, Department of Physical Therapy, School of Pharmacy and Health Professions