It is always a joy to see the return of students to our beautiful campus, and this fall is no exception! As Jepson Hall has come to life with students filling classrooms and chatting in the hallways, I am reflecting on the array of classes we offer each semester.

Although we have a small faculty at the Jepson School of Leadership Studies, we offer a wide variety of elective classes, as well as many required classes. The Jepson School curriculum is designed to teach for and about leadership through the close examination of leadership as it was (historically), as it is (in organizations and society), and as it should be (normatively).

This fall, the School’s faculty is teaching nine sections of our introductory classes, Leadership and the Humanities and Leadership and the Social Sciences. These classes are open to all University of Richmond students and serve as the gateway to our School. Leadership and the Humanities examines the historical and intellectual foundations of leadership, while Leadership and the Social Sciences comprises a theoretical and empirical exploration of leadership.

In Justice and Civil Society, students study contemporary society and past and present ideas of justice. A signature class for the School, we are offering three sections of Justice this fall. Theories and Models of Leadership, Internship¸ and Leadership Ethics round out the required classes offered this fall.

Our faculty are teaching three sections each of Theories and Models and Internship, which are offered for our juniors, and five of Ethics, typically taken by seniors. To explain the difference in the number of sections offered, consider that 67 percent of our junior class (58 students) is now abroad!

In addition to these required classes, the School offers an array of electives with titles such as Group Dynamics, taught by Dr. Don Forsyth. Many alumni have spoken to me about the importance of this class.

Reimagining Richmond: History, Power, and Politics, taught by Dr. Julian Hayter, is extremely apropos, given various developments on the local and national scene. Civil War Leadership, team-taught by Dr. Al Goethals and Brigadier General John Mountcastle, includes a trek to Gettysburg. Dr. Kristin Bezio’s Culture and Resistance: Race, Gender, Power, and Pop Culture examines an intriguing combination of topics.

Our newest addition to the tenured faculty, Dr. David Wilkins, is teaching Law, Sovereignty, and Treaty Rights. Dr. Lauranett Lee offers Sex, Power, and Politics, and Dr. Corey Walker teaches “With God on Our Side”: Religion, Politics, and the American Public Life.

Our most recent Distinguished Educator awardee, Dr. Javier Hidalgo, is offering Leadership in International Contexts. The former dean of the Jepson School and former president of Washington and Lee University, Dr. Kenneth Ruscio, is teaching Accountability: The Limits of Power in a Democracy.

Several leadership themes emerge from this cursory glance at our offerings. Power, issues of race and gender, and political leadership loom large. This is perhaps not surprising given the local, national, and international leadership challenges on the horizon.

Photo: Dr. Don Forsyth teaching a leadership studies class

Leadership studies, fall 2019!

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 and see faculty information.

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