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A classical literature approach to teaching leadership and meeting AACSB mission standards.


Over the years a number of colleges and universities such as Columbia College, University of Chicago, the University of Virginia, Harvard, Mercer, St. John's College and others have provided students a curriculum based on the "Great Books" or "Classics." Since its founding in 1903, Lynchburg College, a private, coeducational, liberal arts college, has fostered a learning environment that has encouraged the reading of good books, the asking of meaningful questions, and reflections on great ideas. As a continuation of this tradition, in 1976 the College developed the Senior Symposium as a capstone course for seniors. It is organized around ten major themes which represent continuing concerns for humanity. The College publishes its own ten-volume set of classical readings for the course through the University Press of America. Lynchburg College Symposium Readings (LCSR)- Classical Selections on Great Issues addresses such themes as: "Poverty and Wealth";" Tyranny and Freedom;"--" The Nature of the Universe;" "Imagination and Creativity;" "Ends and Means in Education:" and "Faith and Morals." Through lectures by visiting scholars on related current issues and small-group discussions based on the lectures and readings, students grapple with the great issues facing humanity from the perspectives of Western civilization and thought from other traditions.

In 1988, an ad hoc committee of faculty members began meeting to discuss their concerns about the reading, writing, and speaking skills of students. The faculty members were also troubled by the lack of integrating forces in the general education curriculum. As a solution, they pondered the possibility of introducing readings from the Senior Symposium in various courses for undergraduates. Their conclusion was that all this could be brought together as a single project. The result would be reading, writing, and speaking across the curriculum. This would introduce some integration into the curriculum while emphasizing the development of writing and speaking skills. At the same time all students would become acquainted with many classical works, and they would have a chance to explore them from different viewpoints and contexts.

The deliberations of the ad hoc committee resulted in a proposal for a two-year pilot. After approval by the general faculty in December 1988, the committee sought and received a FPSE grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The project was one of only 75 out of 1,900 funded in 1989. Much of theses funds were used to provide faculty members summer workshops and in-service training. The training enables faculty to contribute more fully in inter-disciplinary communication and further to help students discover the kind of connected knowledge that Plato called "the only kind of knowledge that takes lasting root."


The LCSR Program has the following mission: "Our mission is to foster interdisciplinary study by all students to read from the classics and write, and to speak about them in the context of contemporary society throughout their four years at Lynchburg College. Further, we aim to work in partnership with our students, both inside and outside the classroom and to encourage them to take responsibility for their learning. Finally the Program seeks to create an atmosphere of shared learning within the college and beyond, therein fostering an academic climate conducive to teaching and learning." The LCSR Program includes the following goals:

1. To enhance the integration of basic skills, interdisciplinary knowledge, and the classics by encouraging students to read analytically and to think critically by participating in reading, writing, and speaking activities across the curriculum through discourse, rather than through the mere memorization of facts.

2. To encourage students to become full partners with faculty in their education not only by taking more responsibility for their learning, but by working with faculty to publish The Agora, the official publication of the program, by participating in state and national conferences, by working on program committees and in-service workshops, and by serving with the Steering Committee of the program.

3. To promote among faculty cross-disciplinary communication via training workshops, monthly presentations, and ongoing involvement in the standing LCSR committees and national, international, and regional presentations.

4. To reach beyond our campus by developing workshops and institutes which expand participation in the program.

5. To expand faculty development opportunities in the areas of interdisciplinary/integrated studies, writing, speaking, and critical thinking through in-service training and by sending faculty to external institutes with the intent to make greater use of faculty expertise in these areas.


The LCSR Program was developed primarily to respond to two perceived needs--to provide an early introduction to the Senior Symposium Readings and to improve student reading, writing, and speaking competencies. The faculty soon realized that the program fostered collaborative learning among the students and between faculty and their students. The program fulfills the Colleges goals for its students: To build intellectual competencies-reading, writing, speaking...through completion of the curriculum. To understand and enjoy teamwork through participation in a wide variety of activities, including ... academic learning activities. To acquire the habit of intellectual curiosity, independent learning and the tolerance of new and different ideas through participation in the intellectual life of the College.

The LCSR Program assists the College in meeting it stated goals for general education. Accordingly, the Program provides a forum for students to meet its first goal to "Communicate effectively in written and oral forms of English." Further, the Program assists the College in meeting its first and second goals of student attainment: 1) "Appreciate the importance of art and literature to humanity; and 2) To understand the nature of historical events as they influence decision-making at the present time." All members of the faculty wishing to teach in the LCSR Program must submit a syllabus which clearly requires that 20% of the students' grades be based on oral and written forms of communication within the classroom. Course syllabi are reviewed each year by members of the Steering Committee.


The use of the LCSR program to meet our objectives and mission statement was a natural for the School of Business and Economics. LCSR courses are characterized by discussion and collaborative learning approaches rather than a traditional lecture format. Faculty engage in more dialogue with one another about effective teaching and empower students to take more responsibility for their own learning. Increased creativity and excitement in the classroom often result from the integration of the readings with different disciplines. In the early years of the project several business faculty volunteered to participate in such courses as Auditing, Introduction to Business, and Principles of Management. However, the number of faculty and the number of courses involved was not widespread. One professor noted that by using readings from Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations and Upton Sinclair's The Jungle, he was "able to help students" in his management class "understand the causes of modern labor-management conflicts and the growth of unionism more clearly than I have ever been able to do in the past."

To insure that the School of Business and Economics had a curriculum which matched its mission, the School reviewed and revised the curriculum in 1997 to include four new core (required) courses which integrated the LCSR classical readings and writing and oral requirements. To fund the development of these new courses, a grant was applied for and received from the Lemelson Foundation. This grant will pay summer stipends for four faculty members who will work to complete the first course prototypes by the end of the summer of 1998. In addition, an 11th volume of LCSR readings on management and leadership topics is being developed by SOBE faculty.


Leadership and the Classics (BUAD 465) is a two (2) hour, senior capstone course. The course is designed to teach the concepts and techniques of effective leadership. Using selections from the LCSR readings (a minimum of three) and The Leader's Companion--Insights on Leadership Through the Ages, and cases from the Hartwick Classic Cases series, students will analyze different leadership styles of past leaders and compare them with modern business leaders selected from Fortune's annual issue "Most Admired Business Leaders." To meet LCSR requirements, a minimum of 20 percent of the final grade will be assigned to oral and written assignments. Written assignments will require students to utilize critical thinking skills (see attachment). The oral presentation will require a five minute dramatization of a famous leader. The dramatization must reenact or recall a moment in history where a leader from the classical selections demonstrated his/her leadership skills. In addition, students will complete a leadership self-assessment to determine their readiness for leadership roles. The leadership analysis should include a plan of action for improving their leadership skills after graduation.


Every business school desiring to be accredited or reaffirmed by AACSB must be mission driven. Each mission statement will determine the type of curriculum, instructional resources, faculty, students, and intellectual contributions. It is extremely important that mission statements clearly provide a distinct niche for each school/college. The growing number of small, liberal arts colleges pursuing AACSB candidacy must avoid using a "cookie cutter" approach to developing mission statements. Instead they should develop mission statements which reflect their unique heritage and educational philosophy. Since teaching (learning) is touted by most liberal arts colleges as a main strength and focus, then resources and scholarship must reflect efforts to maintain and strengthen the teaching emphasis area. Using the "classics" in the business classroom is but one example of how business schools at liberal arts colleges can demonstrate uniqueness and at the same time enhance the mission statement of the institution as a whole.

Syllabus Senior Seminar:

Leadership and the Classics

BUAD 465

Instructor: Dr. Stewart W. Husted

311 Carnegie Hall


Office Hours: by appointment

Course Description: This LCSR course studies the concepts and techniques of effective leadership. The classics will be used as a resource to gain insightful knowledge into how these concepts and techniques of leadership work in a business environment.

Goals of the Course:

Upon completion of the course the student will be able to:

1. Differentiate between leadership and management.

2. Analyze and understand their personal leadership abilities.

3. Demonstrate effective communication skills such as speaking, listening and writing.

4. Recognize leadership themes and leadership characteristics found in personalities from classical books.

5. Apply problem solving and critical thinking techniques to leadership dilemmas.

Required texts and cases: J. Thomas Wren, The Leader's Companion (The Free Press, 1995); Selected cases from the Hartwick Classic Leadership Cases series; LCSR Volumes
Methods of Evaluation:

Personal Leadership Analysis 20%
Modern Business Leader Analysis 20
Role Playing Exercise 20
Mid-Term Exam/Final Exam 40

Attendance Policy: Daily attendance is expected. Two points will be subtracted from the final grade for more than two unexcused absences.

Honor Code: The honor code has detailed in the Hornet handbook is in effect.


Role Playing: Each student must select an historical character (or other approved characters) from the LCSR Readings and role play or reenact a scene or moment in history when the character spoke on leadership or demonstrated his/her leadership skills. The scene/moment must be between 3 and 5 minutes. An appropriate costume would add to the effect and students are encouraged to use their theatrical speaking skills to maximize points. Others from the class can be drafted to assist and if appropriate a team presentation could be done where two characters from history meet to discuss their ideas on leadership.

Modern Business Leader Analysis: Students must select a current business leader from Fortune's "Most Admired" list. The current list includes Jack Welch (GE), Bill Gates (Microsoft), Michael Eisner (Disney), Andy Grove (Intel), Herb Kelleher (South West Airlines), Warren Buffet (Berkshire Hathaway), and Lewis Pratt (Merck). Others modern business leaders can be selected with prior approval of the instructor. The paper should be between 5-7 pages not including a reference page (papers should have footnotes or other references). The paper should analyze the skills of the leader and compare and contrast the leader to historical leaders who demonstrated those skills. The use of examples is critical in this paper.


Personal Leadership Analysis: Each student will complete the leadership self-assessment provided by the instructor. The results of this survey will be summarized and the student will use the results to analyze their state of readiness for future leadership roles. Papers will be 3-5 pages.

Mid-Term and Final Exams: The mid-term and final exams will cover all material up to the point of the exams. Exams will be essay in nature and could include cases.


Fares, G. and Pittas, P. (1998), Lynchburg College Symposium Readings,

Santos, M. (1989), "Creating an Environment for Intellectual Growth," Lynchburg College.

Stewart W. Husted, Lynchburg College in Virginia
Tentative Course Outline
Leadership and the Classics
BUAD 465

DATE/CLASS # Topic Reading/Assignment

#1 Introduction

#2 The Leadership Crisis Wren, pp.1-23

#3 What is Leadership? Wren, pp. 25-43

#4 Historical Views of Wren, pp. 47-80
 Leadership: Leo Tolstoy

#5 Plato LCSR Reading

#6 Aristotle LCSR Reading

#7 Niccolo Machiaveli LCSR Reading

#8 Lao-tzu LCSR Reading

#9 Mohandas Gandhi LCSR Reading

#10 Gandhi Video Hartwick Case

#11 Gandhi Video

#12 W.E.B. Du Bois LCSR Reading

#13 Mid-Term Exam

#14 Contemporary Leadership Wren, pp. 88-113

#15 What Leaders Really Do Wren, pp. 114-123

#16 Personal Factors and Traits Wren, pp. 127-145
 Associated with Leadership

#17 Woman and Minorities in Wren, pp. 149-181

#18 The Followers Wren, pp. 183-242

#19 Situational Leadership Wren, pp. 207-211

#20 Charismatic Leadership: Wren, pp. 318, LCSR
 Martin Luther King

#21 Leading Individuals Wren, pp. 325-350

#22 Leading Groups: Video Wren, pp. 353-373

#23 Video: Dead Poet Society or Hartwick Case

#24 The Skills of a Leader Wren, pp. 375-450

 Leadership in Practice Wren, pp. 451-480

#26 Moral Leadership: Jesus LCSR Reading, Wren, pp.
 481- 508

#27 Role Playing

#28 Role Playing

#29 EXAM
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Title Annotation:Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
Author:Husted, Stewart W.
Publication:Academy of Educational Leadership Journal
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 1999
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