Ferris Launches Legendary Leadership Video Series: Intimate Conversations with Community College Presidents

Ferris State UniversityFerris State University’s Doctorate in Community College Leadership program, Thursday, Dec. 8, launched its Legendary Leadership video series. Legendary Leadership is a series of intimate conversations with eminent community college presidents, who share the knowledge and wisdom that they have gained during a lifetime confronting the enormous challenges leading higher education’s rapidly-evolving and vitally-important segment.

Featuring both current and retired presidents who are highly regarded for their leadership contributions, the wide-ranging topics include the spiritual side of leadership, leading during a crisis, invigorating the workforce, the unique challenges of women and minority leaders and the need to be nimble enough to “fly the plane while you’re building it,” as one president noted.

“We initiated the Legendary Leadership project because community colleges are America’s gateway to opportunity, and they are often led by visionaries whose achievements are critical for the future success of the United States,” said Roberta Teahen, associate provost and director of Ferris’ DCCL program. “Many of these leaders are at the pinnacle of their careers, or have recently retired, and we believe it is essential to capture what they’ve learned so it can be passed on to the next generation of leaders. They’ve been extraordinarily open, honest, and authentic in their interviews, and that’s what makes the interviews so compelling.”

As part of the initial launch, the Legendary Leadership series includes interviews with Sylvia Jenkins, president of Moraine Valley Community College (Ill.); James Jacobs, president of Macomb Community College (Mich.); Dick Shaink, retired president of Mott Community College (Mich.); and E. Ann McGee, president of Seminole State College (Fla.).

Later this year, DCCL will release interviews with Kenneth Ender, president of Harper College (Ill.) and Marilyn Schlack, president of Kalamazoo Valley Community College (Mich.). Those will be followed by the release of interviews with Gunder Myran, retired president of Washtenaw Community College (Mich.) and Laura Meeks, retired president of Eastern Gateway Community College (Ohio), in early 2017. All of the interviewers are graduates of, or students in, the DCCL program who are holding current positions at community colleges. Suggestions for future interviewees are welcomed. 

The videos can be viewed by visiting the Legendary Leadership website.

About the DCCL

The Doctorate in Community College Leadership at Ferris State University is a rigorous program tailored for rising community college leaders and those aspiring to top posts. Believed to be first in the nation to be built from the ground up based on the direct input of current community college leaders, and the first to intentionally build dissertation work into the program throughout, the DCCL program spans nine semesters of both face-to-face and online instruction, plus a dissertation.  Courses are generally taught by community college presidents and current professional practitioners, providing real-life experience as well as the theoretical underpinnings of leadership topics. A study abroad option was recently added to offer DCCL students a global perspective. The 2016 trip was to China.

For more DCCL information, visit www.ferris.edu/ccleadership or contact Dr. Roberta Teahen at (231) 591-2300 or [email protected].


PHOTO CAPTION: Dr. Sylvia Jenkins, president of Moraine Valley Community College, in Palos Hills, Ill., was interviewed by Joe Loobey, admissions specialist at Harper College, a community college, in Palatine, Illinois and a current DCCL student, as part of the Legendary Leadership video series.