A recent study showed that 80% of U.S. citizens feel that our society needs more effective leadership, in business, politics, and local communities, to avoid a long national decline. Moreover, the top skills employers look for in college graduates are communication and teamwork skills, combined with an ability to analyze and solve problems. The combination of these skills often translates to strong leadership skills. Perhaps tellingly, these same employers report that these skills are those in which their new hires most often lack. Therefore, our society must focus on the training and education of our future leaders.
The Illinois Leadership Center opened its doors in September 2002 as a partnership in student leadership education between Academic Affairs and Student Affairs at the University of Illinois.
The campus espouses a "Philosophy of Leadership" where all students can develop leadership competence, starting from a foundation of skills: self-awareness, ethical and inclusive behavior, and utilizing a process of mutual influence in a diverse world. The Center provides unique, integrated leadership development opportunities to Illinois students in the form of leadership courses, leadership institutes, a leadership certificate program, a resource library, student programs, and employment opportunities.
Each of these services provide curriculum drawing from theory in social psychology, organizational development, philosophy, and education.