Former president Moore speaks to ELAF about leadership

July 17 2008

TERRE HAUTE - Leadership matters. That was the message Indiana State University President Emeritus John Moore gave to department of educational leadership, administration and foundations (ELAF) alumni and current students.

"Exemplary leaders can make a substantial contribution to their institutions and create an environment and atmosphere in which quality teaching and learning can take place," said Moore, who was the ninth president of ISU.

Moore, who now works as a national consultant, served as the keynote speaker of the department's first Celebration of Leadership Reunion held on July 11. He also spoke at a workshop with a new cohort of ELAF doctoral students on July 12.

The purpose of the reunion was two-fold, according to Josh Powers, chair of ELAF.

"The impetus for doing this came from the Leadership Hall project, affirming the project, building awareness of that project and promoting the capital campaign," Powers said.

It also served as a celebration of what the department's graduates do in schools, colleges and universities.

On the second floor of University Hall, which is being renovated to house the College of Education and will open in 2009, one wing -- Leadership Hall -- also will act as a showcase for those who have excelled in providing leadership at schools, colleges and universities.

In conjunction with the development of Leadership Hall, a capital campaign kicked off in November with a goal to raise $150,000. So far, about $75,000 has been raised. The campaign continues until University Hall opens in the fall of 2009.

During the reunion, attendees played in a golf scramble and gathered for a chance to tour University Hall before a reunion reception and dinner, during which Moore spoke. After retiring as president, Moore taught as part of the ELAF faculty for five years.

"His depth and breadth of knowledge is extraordinary," Powers said.

Moore not only spoke about what makes exemplary leadership during his keynote address to more than 100 attendees, but he also addressed that topic with ISU's newest cohort of 15 students, some of whom aspire to be university presidents.

Credible relationships are a foundation for leaders, Moore said. Leaders need to cultivate trustworthy relationships with an institution's stakeholders since their support is critical.

"Leadership is a contact sport," he said. "It's about people and relationships."

Also, Moore said, a university president's time is taken up responding to external relations such as with alumni or fundraisers.

"One has to be able to delegate much of the internal management to other capable colleagues," he said.

Through his consulting work, Moore said he sees many presidents struggling to strike a balance in handling both sides of the position.

"There's a tension in the presidency," he said.

One way to help manage that is to focus on a limited number of targeted and strategic priorities, he said.

"With all the stakeholders tugging at you, you can easily lose focus," Moore said. "You need to be disciplined and you need to discipline the institution."

By doing so, he said, presidents can work toward their priorities.

"Whatever they might ask, you know where you want to spend your time and resources, you say 'how does this relate to my strategic priorities?'" Moore said.

Powers said the success of the first reunion could lead to another one next year.

"We're very pleased with how it went," he said. "We hope to have something like it next summer when we have the grand opening of University Hall."

Donations to support Leadership Hall may be made through the ISU Foundation's Web site at Information is also available on gift recognition levels.


Contact: Joshua Powers, chair of the department of Educational Leadership, Administration and Foundations, at (812) 237-2900 or at  

Writer: Jennifer Sicking, assistant director of media relations, at 812-239-7972 or at  


Cutline: John Moore, ninth ISU presidents, speaks during the keynote address of the Celebration of Leadership Reunion on July 11.

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Story Highlights

Leadership matters. That was the message Indiana State University President Emeritus John Moore gave to department of educational leadership, administration and foundations (ELAF) alumni and current students.

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