The university officially launched the Edosomwan Institute, a center that will provide students with the option to gain experience and become educated in leadership at the College of Engineering, on Jan. 17.
The department of industrial engineering is working in conjunction with the School of Business and other colleges to follow through with the implementation of the institute. It will serve as a development facility where funded research programs, leadership training, tutorials, workshops and lecture series will be held.
“The purpose is to provide courses and content to develop leaders,” said Joseph Donahoo, executive director of the Institute. “[It is] to help people develop their leadership skills for any job and within their personal lives.”
Donahoo made it clear that the institute is open to every student, not just engineering majors.
The idea for the leadership began in 1979 when the University of Miami Chapter of the American Institute started a project with Johnson A. Edosomwan by designing a logo that stood for the industrial engineering department.
Edosomwan, who has served as chairman of several leadership capacities, has developed more than 160 performance improvement tools along with the authorization and editing of 66 books and 310 papers in numerous disciplines relating to leadership training.
Donahoo said it was Edosomwan himself who came up with the idea for the Institute.
“This center bears his name and manifests his vision for developing leaders for the future,” Donahoo said.
According to Shihab Asfour, professor and chairman of the industrial engineering department, this $1 million institute was chosen by a team of experts that work directly with Edosomwan.
“Out of all the schools he sent assessment teams to, our department had the highest ranking in terms of facilities and creativity,” he said.
In addition to developing the conceptual plan for the leadership institution, Edosomwan will be funding the program for the first five years of existence.
Aside from its research programs and workshops, the institute will also provide students with scholarships and the expansion of the existing MSIE/MBA degree program.
Asfour said the launch of the institute has been met with interest in other areas of the university because of the necessity of students gaining leadership training before joining the workforce.
“This was designed to develop leadership skills [in students] at an early stage,” he said.
Asfour said schools like the School of Music and the School of Law are showing interest in the program.
“It is a hot topic and a much needed one,” Asfour said. “As a professor, I will be heavily involved in the process.”
According to Asfour, the institute has already met the faculty senate approval prerequisites. Institute staff will begin targeting its strategies toward healthcare providers and other business professionals to get them involved in the leadership training process.
“The key now is getting everyone on board in developing these new courses,” Asfour said.
Donahoo said it is important to go include professionals as well.
“There are many leadership experts on campus,” he said. “There may be someone down the road that brings new, complementary experience to the institute.”
According to Asfour, some of the ways students will be able to learn about the Institute will be through the school’s website as well as through mass mailing.
When asked about the Institute, Deepak Chandnani, an industrial engineering major, said he was unaware of it, but thinks it is a good idea.
“Leadership is not something that is inherited,” he said. “It provides more opportunities to help students to become better leaders.”
According to Asfour, determining the development, obtaining approval and outlining the types of courses offered are the only steps left for the faculty involved with the Institute to take.
He said that although there is a series of not-for-credit courses projected to be offered in June, courses for credit will most likely take an entire year before they can be offered to the students.
Fanny Olmo can be contacted at email@example.com.