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Course Descriptions

MLLS 704 - Leading Teams
In the fast-paced, highly-networked environment in which most organizations operate today, teams accomplish much of the work that gets done. In this course, students learn about the make-up of teams: characteristics, structures, culture and dynamics. They consider the role and function of individuals on a team, as well as the contribution teams make in the larger organizational context. A major focus will be on the formation and development of teams, and on leadership processes that enable high performing teams. A core feature of this course is experiential learning: students will participate on multiple student teams and reflect on and learn from their experience in light of current theoretical and applied perspectives on teaming.

MLLS 705 - Strategic Leadership
Organizational leaders want to have maximum impact using the limited talents, resources, and opportunities they have. Yet the world is becoming more complex, the pace of change is increasing, and it is harder to anticipate what the future will be like. The challenge for leaders is to leverage core organizational competencies to gain strategic advantage in an uncertain and ever-changing environment. This course explores strategic thinking and planning as key leader skills, and culminates in the creation of an actual strategic plan. Students will also learn how organizations can cultivate leadership at multiple levels and become more effective in generating and executing strategy. 

MLLS 709 - Leading Mindfully: The Practice of Managing Oneself
Being mindful means paying attention, on purpose and non-judgmentally, to the present moment. A primary premise of this course is that the practice of mindfulness is foundational to the successful practice of leadership. Leading mindfully enables leaders to see more clearly, listen more deeply and respond more effectively through reduced stress, enhanced concentration and creativity, and improved resilience. Leaders who cultivate mindfulness create and sustain work environments which meet follower's four basic needs of trust, compassion, stability, and hope. In this course, students will gain an experiential understanding of mindfulness through rigorous training in numerous meditation techniques. Students will also gain conceptual knowledge about mindfulness through study of the psychology and neuroscience of mindfulness. Finally, students will integrate their experiential and conceptual learning through the application of mindfulness to important tasks of leadership.

MLLS 710 - Introduction to the Graduate Study of Leadership
This course will introduce students to classical and current views of leadership and to the process of graduate-level scholarship. Students will gain a foundation in theories and models of leadership; assess their own leadership style; and learn to develop and answer research questions in leadership.

MLLS 711 - Organizational Communication for Leaders
This course is designed to examine the theoretical and applied literature in the field of organizational communication relevant to organizational leadership. The different perspectives on organizational theory - the classical, systems approach, cultural, etc. - will be studied and compared. In addition, such applied topics as organizational socialization, conflict, and the impact of technology on organizational communications will be investigated.

MLLS 712 - Decision-Making and Problem-Solving for Leaders
A study of the theories of decision-making will be combined with case studies that illuminate the techniques and tactics of effective problem solving, with a focus on the role that leaders play in achieving desired results. Special emphasis will be placed on effective team building through empowering team members to make decisions and solve problems.

MLLS 713 - Leadership for Turbulent Times
This course examines theories and concepts of organizational leadership and management as seen through the lens of the New Sciences - relativity, quantum theory, chaos, complexity and fuzzy set theory. The focus of the course is on leading change in rapidly evolving organizational environments characteristic of the corporate world today. Students will develop a functional working knowledge of how to operate as a leader in an organizational climate where stability is rare and change, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity are frequently the only constants.

MLLS 714 - Conflict Resolution
Conflict is a fact of everyday professional and personal life. If conflict is mishandled, it can be a source of considerable stress and lead to lost productivity. Much of the success and satisfaction we find in life is determined by how we respond to conflict. Leaders especially must respond well in conflict situations and should willingly accept the consequences of their conflict responses. Additionally, leaders are often asked to help resolve conflict among others. What does it take to be "response able" in conflict situations? This course explores theories, methods, skills, and practices associated with successfully engaging in the dynamics of conflict interactions.

MLLS 715 - Valuing a Diverse Workforce: The Leader's Role
This course is an investigation of the increasingly prominent issues surrounding diversity. Students will examine the historical experience of women and minorities, the special circumstances they face in modern society, and the impact of government policies on their position. Special emphasis will be placed on the role of the leader in organizations that are addressing the needs of a diverse workforce.

MLLS 717 - Leading People and Managing Relationships
Bringing about change in an organization - no matter what one's position - requires a unique set of skills. Leaders must be effective in working in multiple contexts and directions simultaneously. As organizational roles shift frequently and more work is done through virtual teams or is performed by those outside the organization, managing relationships with team members, contractors, and volunteers becomes critical. This course builds on emerging theories of emotional intelligence and self-leadership as they are applied in today's fluid organizational contexts.

MLLS 720 - Fundraising Grant Writing Sustainability
Every nonprofit organization relies on generating the necessary funds to carry out their programs and services. These can come from earned income such as ticket sales, tuition, or special events. The funds also are derived from contributed income such as grants from foundations, donations from corporations or government sources, or individual gifts from alumni, stakeholders, clients, or patrons. The ability of an organization to sustain itself into the future is directly linked to its success in generating income sufficient to implement the programs and services outlined in their vision and mission statements. This course will look at all potential sources of income for the nonprofit organization and will investigate the most effective methods of generating those funds.

MLLS 721 - Applied Leadership Ethics
Leaders and administrators are constantly faced with difficult choices demanding that they make decisions and set priorities explicitly based on ethical considerations. In this course, students will learn the foundations of moral and ethical theory and then apply them to real-world problems involving: identifying and resolving conflicts of interest; framing ethical choices; safety and environmental health; privacy and information ethics; IT security and electronic monitoring; issues surrounding diversity and diversity training; organizational justice; gender, sexual orientation, and harassment issues; tensions between vision and control; and corporate social and environmental responsibility.

MLLS 734 - Human and Financial Resources
Resources are the lifeblood of an organization. This course explores the importance of human and financial resources within the culture of organizations and the interdependence between the two. The course draws on current literature and student experience to explore resource management and focuses on the effective and efficient use of human resources within the boundaries defined by financial realities.

MLLS 755 - Gender and Leadership
Gender has a significant impact on leadership style and practice in both overt and covert ways in all aspects of life, including within the workplace context. This course will provide students an analytic framework for understanding the role that gender plays in defining and determining access to leadership and power. Students will analyze the myths, challenges, and opportunities that accompany the issue of gender through an exploration of gender and leadership both conceptually and practically. In addition, an examination of recent efforts to challenge the gendered inequities that are woven into workplace norms and practices will help students develop strategies for navigating the gendered dynamics of the workplace.

MLLS 756 - The Leader as Entrepreneur
This course explores leadership from the perspective of an active entrepreneur, including the sociological, psychological, and philosophical framework of the entrepreneurial leader, addressing issues of entrepreneurial social responsibility and providing necessary "how to" practical entrepreneurial and leadership skills and assessment strategies. Students will examine real-world examples of successful entrepreneurial leaders such as Mark Cuban, Steve Jobs, Marissa Mayer, Taylor Swift, Oprah Winfrey, Mark Zuckerberg and others. Deal structures, joint ventures, the new "benefit corporation," intellectual property and privacy, crowdfunding, and other topics will be covered as entrepreneurial mechanisms through which leadership manifests in commercial enterprises.

MLLS 795 - Leadership Capstone
This course provides students with an opportunity to synthesize what they have learned about leadership during their graduate degree program and to demonstrate mastery of primary leadership competencies, concepts, principles and practices. By demonstrating competence in a highly interactive leadership simulation and reflecting on their experience, students focus and integrate their learning upon the identification, analysis and solution of leadership problems in organizations and society today.