My journey to Luxembourg begins in a very short few days from now. This morning I spent time with a colleague, Dr. Judy Rogers, looking at her plans to take a group of graduate students and student affairs professionals to Europe in May of 2006. Because I will be centrally located in Europe and want to get out to talk to educators in that area, I am pitching in to secure some of Dr. Rogers' arrangements. We spoke of my going to Nancy in France, Trier and Berlin in Germany. I will be initiating contacts with faculty and staff on these campuses.
My hope is to work with Dr. Rogers' referrals and others is to explore what European organizations (for-profit, non-for-profit, governmental, educational, and others) expect from higher education. Depending on waht they articulate as the most pressing needs, I will explore the role of leadership studies and development in responding to these needs. Of particular note is that most colleges/universities in the U.S.A. have had student affairs programs for around 100 years but most continental European institutions have not adopted this practice. I want to explore if student affairs ideas could be useful in European settings and/or I want to see what Europeans are doing to maximize the learning experiences of students.
The dynamics in the EU and the realization of the interdepent world in which we live is profound. We know on both sides of the Atlantic and around the globe that organizations, communities, and governments need to learn new ways of engaging and serving us all. This is one of the key challenges in leadership development - What will it take to help us learn to have a global and integrative perspective that serves the globe and all its inhabitants?