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for Proposal a New Center/Institute
Center for Urban Leadership
2. MISSION STATEMENT: The Center for Urban Leadership will employ a research-to-development-to-practice approach as it prepares leaders for positions in urban schools and community organizations. Its mission is to create new knowledge using a scientific process that is rigorous and systemic, information that will then be disseminated into rich and cutting-edge professional development programs focused on providing urban leaders with the knowledge and skills to build capacity for sustainable educational reform.
3. RATIONALE (Provide background on the area of research, scholarship or artistic achievement in this area.): A. Why is this area important, relevant, contemporary or useful? What societal problems are addressed, or what is the market for its services, products and activities? Large, urban communities have long faced very difficult challenges in obtaining and leveraging the resources critical to systemic educational improvement. Increased accountability pressures focused on narrowing the racial and class achievement gap in student learning have raised the stakes for urban school systems without creating more effective webs of support able to affect improved teaching and learning. For example, more than 40% of public school principals are expected to retire over the next ten years (Educational Research Service). School systems across the nation are struggling to attract, prepare, and retain a qualified pool of school leaders who may fill this void. Shortages in leadership are particularly acute in inner-city communities. While the recruitment and preparation of highly qualified school leaders committed to the educational needs of urban communities is a critical priority, sustainable educational reform requires a systemic approach that addresses the influences beyond the schoolyard. Because schools account for only some of the influence on the improvement of student learning, it is critical to consider the role of community organizations--such as early intervention programs, social service agencies, faith- based organizations, and other programs--that also influence children's behaviors and attitudes and, ultimately, their learning in schools.
The center will conduct original research in the area of urban leadership that will guide the development and implementation of professional programs to educate the next generation of urban leaders. The center will help Lehigh develop effective educational leaders, who, in turn, will promote improvements in cities nationwide. Scholars from such varied backgrounds as psychology, sociology, economics, and education will be encouraged to participate in the new center's interdisciplinary research and education programs, helping urban leaders put tested research into practice in areas such as education and non-profit organizations. B. How is Lehigh University poised to make exceptional contributions in this research area? A hallmark of the Center for Urban Leadership is its unique focus on a research-anddevelopment model to study, and at the same time, guide practice in urban educational and community settings. This work will provide new knowledge and skill development for current and future leaders of urban communities who are committed to improving education. The Center will serve as an incubator for innovative ideas and practices that will be tested and the results disseminated. Lehigh University's College of Education, along with faculty colleagues from other departments throughout the University, is uniquely positioned and qualified to operate the Center because of: 1. The extensive work on Urban School Leadership development done over the past three years in cooperation with the School District of Philadelphia and the National Association of Elementary School Principals. The work of this project has led to a number of research projects focused on the characteristics of effective leadershipdevelopment programs. 2. The ongoing work, in cooperation with the University of Pennsylvania and the School District of Philadelphia related to the development of distributed leadership teams in selected high need schools. 3. Current research collaborations by faculty in the Colleges of Education and Arts and Sciences with regional Head Start programs that are focused on early literacy skill acquisition and family involvement in children's education. 4. The long history of professional development for school leaders (including regional urban school principals and superintendents) provided through the Lehigh University School Study Council.
RESEARCH DESCRIPT ION (Describe the initiatives, scholarship, collaborations, services, product development and other activities that will take place within this center or institute. Is this center multidisciplinary?):
The Center for Urban Leadership will have several different research and practice foci that will evolve as the center grows and matures over the next several years. The four areas of study that have been identified include: 1. New models of urban leadership that include principals and teachers. 2. Links between community agencies and schools as they relate to building capacity for educational reform. 3. The interplay between economic development and school reform. 4. The study of psychosocial and economic factors that influence attitudes and behaviors of children in urban schools. 5. EDUCATIONAL DESCRIPT IO N (Describe how the center will contribute to Lehigh's mission to integrate teaching and research for undergraduate, graduate and continuing education students with short courses, certificate programs, seminars, work shops or other endeavors): The Center for Urban Leadership will provide an interdisciplinary home for individuals throughout the University with interest in enhancing the quality of urban education. It will provide the opportunity to collaborate on the development of new programs, conduct research, and create new partnership urban with community leaders. We anticipate that the research activities of the Center will: 1. Contribute to the ongoing development of the Aspiring Urban Principal certification program that extends the current work done in Philadelphia to other urban centers. 2. Result in seminars and focused workshops designed to translate research to practice for current urban leaders. These sessions will be designed to develop a broader understanding by urban educators and urban community leaders representing community action groups, parents, social service agencies and business and industry of the critical issues facing urban education.
3. Inform the creation of meaningful partnerships with regional urban educational and community agencies (The Urban Communities Educational Partners program). An expected outgrowth of these partnerships is the development of problem-based learning experiences and case studies that will be used in various courses throughout the university. 4. Provide opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students to intern and /or conduct research through the Center's Urban Communities Educational Partners program. 5. Guide the development of the teacher leader certificate program and a new urban community leaders certificate program. 6. DIRECTOR (S) (Name, Title, Qualifications): Dr. Sally A. White, Interim Executive Director Professor and Dean College of Education
7. PARTICIPANTS: A. Colleges (Names, Rationale, Signature of Dean must appear at the end of this form) College of Education A1. Primary reporting dean Dr. Sally A. White, COE Dean A2. Other participating deans N/A B. Departments (Names, Rationale, Signature of core department chair(s) must appear below) N/A C. Specific Faculty Members (Names, Rationale, Were they consulted?) More university faculty will be appointed as the Center evolves. Those appointed have been consulted and would be: Dr. George White, Professor Educational Leadership Dr. Margaret Barber, Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership Dr. George Roesser, Professor of Practice Educational Leadership Mr. Tim Lucas, Professor of Practice Educational Leadership Dr. Patti Manz, Assistant Professor of School Psychology Dr. Thomas Hyclak, Professor of Economics Dr. Richard Aronson, Professor, Economics
D. Relationship to other initiatives (Describe how this center or institute is related to other centers or institutes at Lehigh, if any) N /A
(1) Initial Investments (Describe grants, endowments, gifts, seed money that will be used to start this center/institute) The COE received a gift from a LU Alum for $2.25 million to be used to endow the Executive Director position that is also the Peter E. Bennett '63 Chair. Some of the $2.25 million was used to provide initial funding to endow the operating costs of the Center. To fully fund the Center for Urban Leadership a total endowment of $5 million needs to be raised for the following expenses: Endowed Chair and Executive Director.......................................... $2 million Professor of Practice........................................................................ $1.5 million Endowed Doctoral- Level Scholar.................................................... $500,000 Center Operating Fund ................................................................... $1 million (2) Continued Funding (How will this center/institute be sustained? Who is responsible for obtaining this funding?) The COE is aggressively fund raising for the rest of the endowment and many of the operating costs of the center will be covered throug...