Employers and employees, listen up.
Thanks to an endowed gift of $2.5 million to distinctlyDrake from Melva Bucksbaum and Mary Bucksbaum Scalan, FA’91, Drake University is launching the executive development program—a series of non-degree courses that will allow mid-level professionals from a variety of industries and sectors to hone their leadership skills and interact with peers from other companies.
“To truly succeed in today’s workforce, people need to look outside their line of work and be willing to learn from other people and other industries,” says Danette Kenne, assistant dean for the College of Business and Public Administration. “While you still need to have your industry knowledge, there’s much more cross-discipline learning that’s happening, and Drake’s excited to be that resource for the community.”
Shannon Cofield, senior advisor for external relations, led the development of this open-enrollment program by meeting with top CEOs and human resources executives in Des Moines to understand their needs for mid-level professionals.
“Our goal was to create a program that’s accessible, affordable, and flexible, and based directly on customer input,” says Cofield. “As a result of the feedback we received, we’re in the process of creating a full array of courses that will help develop individual leadership competencies.”
Courses will begin in Spring 2015 and will focus on topics such as strategic thinking and decision-making, change management, communication, leadership agility, and financial acumen. The courses range in length from two days to a week and are taught by Drake faculty and practitioners in the field.
In addition to creating the program, Drake plans to use the funds from the endowment to establish the Bucksbaum Distinguished Lectureship in Business and Entrepreneurialism—to honor the late Martin Bucksbaum’s entrepreneurial spirit and business intelligence. The lecture series will attract some of the nation’s foremost thought leaders to discuss topics of particular interest and importance to the business community.
“We heard directly from Des Moines’ top CEOs that they needed a program like this,” says Cofield. “And the generosity from the Bucksbaum family is helping make their dream a reality.”