2017-149-181 Spring Commencement 130pm sj.JPG

"At the end of the day, CMU graduates leaders."

- President Emeritus George Ross, Central Michigan University

Over Central Michigan University's rich history, leadership development has been an integral part of the student experience. Since 1998, CMU has made leadership education a priority with the opening of the Leadership Institute, a department centered around providing opportunities to develop student's leadership capacities. In 2006, leadership offerings expanded into the classroom, as CMU introduced the first leadership minor offered in Michigan. 

As CMU continues to strive to be the premier destination for college students seeking leadership development, the manner in how the University articulates leadership and develops students must evolve as well.

Thus, in 2015, a university-wide initiative was launched to further expand leadership opportunities for CMU's 27,000 students, when the Enrollment and Student Services division and the College of Education and Human Services began a process to re-imagine leadership education.  Early in this reimagining, a partnership with Dr. Denny Roberts was created to review and assess existing leadership programs to create a plan to build the next generation of collegiate leadership opportunities.  

View Dr. Roberts' CMU Leadership Report by clicking the following link:

From Dr. Roberts' report, several recommendations were made to optimize leadership access for all CMU students.

Cross-Campus Leadership Initiative

Through a collaborative process involving students, faculty, administrators, and national experts, the Cross-Campus Leadership Initiative (CCLI) was formed to advance Dr. Roberts' recommendations at CMU. The CCLI created documents and language centered around a vision, mission, and learning outcomes to support leadership education, which was adopted by the Academic Senate's Leadership Council in 2016.


Central Michigan University educates and prepares students to discover their individual leadership paths and develop skills to engage as responsible global citizens.


Central Michigan University cultivates student's understanding of leadership and awareness of purpose while preparing them to work in diverse communities, creatively solve problems, and lead with integrity. Students will be encouraged to develop as lifelong learners, active citizens, and socially just leaders.

Learning Goals & Outcomes 

As a result of participating and engaging in campus leadership programs, students will understand:

  • Leadership Knowledge and Application: Students will explore various creative problem solving through risk-taking, understanding, and application.
  • Identity Development: Students will develop a purposeful, holistic understanding of self.
  • Healthy Relationships: Students will build collaborative relationships and support networks.
  • Social Responsibility: Students will develop an understanding of inclusive, equitable communities.

See the full list of Leadership Learning Outcomes developed by the Cross-Campus Leadership Initiative. 

For additional CCLI accomplishments and updates, view the full CCLI Fall 2018 Report.

Theoretical foundation

The Cross-Campus Leadership Initiative has reviewed current leadership scholarship and identified relevant models, frameworks, and theories to serve as the foundation for program development at CMU.  The CCLI has prepared a document to introduce each, and to direct users to more complete resources. 

Adaptive Leadership

Immunity to Change

Self Authorship

Social Change Model of Leadership Development

Join the conversation

As the evolution of CMU's leadership model continues, the CCLI is actively seeking the involvement of additional students, faculty, staff, and members of the community to guide the creation of the next generation of collegiate leadership programs.  Current workgroups include:

  • Learning Outcomes
  • Academic Partnerships
  • Communication & Marketing

To join a CCLI workgroup, email Jennifer Drevon Assistant Director, Leadership Institute at limba1je@cmich.edu