Gettysburg College earns Carnegie Elective Classification for Leadership for Public Purpose

A speaker presenting at the conference.
Self-study findings for the Carnegie Elective Classification for Leadership for Public Purpose showed that Gettysburg College has a strong institutional commitment to leadership for public purpose, especially in student-facing efforts, both curricular and co-curricular, such as the Eisenhower Institute Leadership Conference in January 2024, which was organized and developed by students under the guidance of Eisenhower Institute and Garthwait Leadership Center administrators.

In June, Gettysburg College was selected as one of 25 colleges and universities across the United States as part of the inaugural cohort of recipients for the Carnegie Leadership for Public Purpose Classification. Awarded by the American Council on Education (ACE), the Doerr Institute for New Leaders at Rice University, and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, this classification recognizes institutions that have committed to campus-wide efforts to advance leadership in pursuit of public goods like justice, equity, diversity, and liberty.

“This prestigious honor—bestowed to only 25 institutions nationwide—is a testament to our unwavering commitment to fostering leaders who serve the greater good,” said Gettysburg College President Bob Iuliano. “In so many ways, this classification highlights our dedication to addressing today’s complex societal challenges and instilling within our community the leadership skills and values to rise to the ‘unfinished work’ of our time.”

This classification is an evidence-based documentation of institutional policy and practices in areas such as institutional culture and mission, curricular and co-curricular programming, continuous improvement activities, and the recruitment and reward of faculty, staff, and students.

Sam Anderson, assistant director for leadership development in the Garthwait Leadership Center, led a self-study team to analyze the College’s commitment to leadership for public purpose. As a residential, undergraduate college of the liberal arts and sciences, Gettysburg College promises students A Consequential Education, preparing them to pursue lives of personal and personal fulfilment and to engage the complex questions of our time through effective leadership and socially responsible citizenship.

The self-study team includes Anderson, Garthwait Leadership Center Executive Director Andy Hughes, Office of Student Activities and Greek Life Director Jon Allen, Director of Institutional Analysis Suhua Dong, Eisenhower Institute Assistant Director of Student Engagement Brigid Goss, Executive Director of Human Resources Jen Lucas, and Dean of Admissions Gail Sweezey.

“We chose to pursue the Carnegie Elective Classification for Leadership for Public Purpose because we recognized Gettysburg College has a distinctive commitment to leadership that is pervasive across the institution and deeply rooted in our mission and values,” said Anderson. “The self-study process allowed us to tell that story, receive outside validation of our findings, and identify areas to enhance our already exceptional work. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to lead this team and work with colleagues from across the College.”

Findings from the study showed that Gettysburg has a strong institutional commitment to leadership for public purpose, especially in student-facing efforts, both curricular and co-curricular, such as through the Guided Pathways, a defining element of the Gettysburg Approach.

Among the Class of 2023, 64% served in a leadership role and 85% reported their leadership skills substantially growing during their time on campus. According to the HEDS Graduating Senior Survey, leadership-related learning outcomes showed that Gettysburg College outperforms its peers in effective speaking, teamwork, problem solving, civic engagement, intercultural knowledge and competence, and ethical reasoning.

“Gettysburg College’s institutional commitment to Leadership for Public Purpose is rooted in the student experience,” said Anne Ehrlich, vice president for College Life. “A core tenant of our mission statement, ‘The value of ethical leadership that is inclusive, collaborative, and directed towards effecting change for the greater good,’ is woven throughout the co-curriculum, particularly the Leadership, Teamwork, and Collaboration Guided Pathway. Our students are deeply engaged learners, and we strive to walk alongside them as they come to recognize their potential as leaders, embrace their responsibility to serve, and practice the critical thinking and active citizenship the preservation of democracy requires.”

The College also has robust development opportunities for faculty and staff, including management development, spotlight series, educational grants, and workshops through The Johnson Center for Creative Teaching and Learning.

Later this year, upon receiving additional feedback on the application, the self-study team will continue to engage the College community to improve their efforts to advance leadership for public purpose on campus.

“ACE is proud to welcome the inaugural recipients of the Carnegie Elective Classification for Leadership for Public Purpose,” said ACE President Ted Mitchell. “The institutions in this cohort serve as models in higher education, demonstrating excellence in nurturing leaders who are prepared to address and solve pressing public challenges, which is sorely needed in our society right now.”

Learn more about the Carnegie Elective Classification for Leadership for Public Purpose.

By Megan Miller
Photo by Abbey Frisco
Posted: 06/20/24