CMC recognized by Carnegie Foundation for commitment to responsible leadership

Campus shot of North Mall leading to Kravis Center.

Photos by Anibal Ortiz and Isaiah Tulanda ’20

Claremont McKenna College is among the 25 inaugural recipients of the Carnegie Foundation Elective Classification for Leadership for Public Purpose, a formal recognition of the College’s campus-wide commitment to tackling complex societal issues and fostering a deeper understanding of leadership as a public good.

David Day, CMC Professor and Academic Director at the Kravis Leadership Institute, shepherded the four-year effort, which involved every aspect of campus life—from the College’s curriculum and student programming to alumni outreach and staff development.

In part, the elective classification is based on the shared principle “that leadership education and development is a core function of American higher education and represents an applicable tangible skillset for furthering civil discourse and public good around the globe.”

Professor David Day.

David Day, CMC Professor and Academic Director at the Kravis Leadership Institute

To achieve the classification, Day provided examples of the College’s mission to prepare students for thoughtful and productive lives and responsible leadership in business, government, and the professions, as well as to support faculty and student scholarship that contributes to intellectual vitality and the understanding of public policy issues.

“The Carnegie Foundation’s inaugural designation and recognition reflects our unwavering commitment to responsible leadership,” said CMC President Hiram Chodosh. “We are all extremely grateful, proud of our leading experts, and in response to the public challenges of our time, moved to take this successful campus-wide effort to the next level.”

The Doerr Institute for New Leaders at Rice University, in partnership with the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the American Council on Education, established the Carnegie Elective Classification for Leadership for Public Purpose in January 2020, with CMC as one of the nine founding institutions.

In applying for the certification, the College highlighted how responsible leadership at CMC aligns with key CMC initiatives like The Open Academy—and more specifically, how its programs are “grounded in the development of ethical and moral judgment and the critical thinking necessary to understand the systemic and cultural aspects of power and privilege within which all leadership resides.”

“Many CMCers contributed to this effort—a comprehensive set of stakeholders,” Day said. “This was an opportunity to pull together all of these different threads and see how strong we are in terms of what we do around public purpose and responsible leadership.”

Day described earning the certification as an important validation of the College’s intentional, purposeful efforts, particularly with leadership development among students. “This was an opportunity to (demonstrate) how serious we are about responsible leadership,” Day said, noting that the “spirit of the elective classification” will involve ongoing evaluation and discovering ways to continue striving toward leadership goals.

“This is not just a ‘one and done’ endeavor … but one that is grounded in self-study and continuous improvement,” he added.

Anne Bergman


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