On this blog and elsewhere, I’ve shared about the Jepson Profile-Raising Initiative, which the School’s Executive Board of Advisors launched in fall 2017. The Board has 14 current members, with representation from alumni, parents of alumni, faculty, and friends of the School, and industries such as athletics, business, nonprofits, and higher education. They are leaders in their own rights and have agreed to devote their energies in the next few years to elevating the profile of the school. But what does this mean?

We want more potential employers and more people generally to know that the Jepson School educates the best leaders.

At our most recent Board meeting, we discussed strategies for achieving this. Some ideas are simple, while others will require significant resources. All will require committed engagement from the Jepson community.

Not surprisingly, much of our latest conversation focused on digital and social media. Below is a selection of ideas from our wide-ranging conversation:

  1. Facilitate faculty engagements with media, conferences and panels, and Ted Talks. The Board recognizes that our faculty and their scholarship are one of the greatest strengths of the Jepson School.
  2. Create a virtual “rolodex” of alumni. As I have written before, our alumni are the best representatives of how a Jepson education empowers students for leadership.
  3. Identify groups with leadership elements and use geo-targeting to promote Jepson at their conferences. We must bring Jepson’s leadership scholarship outside the Ivory Tower and into the “real world.”

Of course, what is said is as important as who says it and where. Within the School, we will begin work describing what employers can expect our graduates to bring to the table, and what Jepson graduates contribute in such diverse areas as families, communities, organizations, or public service. We will develop an “employer” page on our website to promote hiring Jepson graduates and elevate information on internship placements over time, career outcomes of our graduates and alumni, and the skills they bring to their employment.

If you have additional suggestions, we want to hear from you. To get involved, visit jepson.richmond.edu/support.

Leadership Begins Here. These words now greet visitors to Jepson Hall. They signal our confidence that the students who take our classes learn for and about leadership.

Talking About Jepson

Sandra J. Peart

Dr. Peart is Dean of the School of Leadership Studies at the University of Richmond. She is an economist with special interests in leadership and economics and leadership ethics. More about her: Go to jepson.richmond.edu and see faculty information.

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