Endowed Chair in Business Leadership
Congratulations to Dr. Todd Darnold as the inaugural Chairholder of the Charles “Mike” Harper Endowed Chair in Business Leadership.
Created by a gift from the Harper Family Foundation, the Charles “Mike” Harper Endowed Chair in Business Leadership recognizes the inherent link between business leadership and human interaction. The endowed chair is named for former chairman of ConAgra Foods, Mike Harper. Before his passing this past May, he was a keen supporter of Creighton University and the Heider College of Business. Harper was interested in leadership and what qualities make a good leader. But, says Dean Hendrickson, he “was always impressed that our programs, such as the Anna Tyler Waite Leadership Program, emphasized active participation in the process. To him, leadership development required coaching and practice.”
These, coaching and practice, are the criteria for the endowed chair that bears his name: a professor who actively works at leadership development in his or her students, through both scholarship and individual development both.
Dr. Darnold believes the gift from the Harper Family Foundation is a “game changer” for the College. “Traditionally, these Chairs have been used to support research efforts,” says Dr. Darnold. “I will invest in research in leadership by supporting scholars here in the Heider College in their efforts to collect data relevant to both academics and practitioners.”
Further, he plans to disseminate their findings to the greater community by hosting talks focused on leadership as well as presenting research findings through blogs and podcasts. When faculty are given resources, like the endowed chair, “new and exciting things will follow for the Creighton family and beyond,” Dr. Darnold maintains.