Global Leadership in Crisis? A Conversation With UVA Deans

Can cross-sector leadership skills help 21st century leaders navigate the complex challenges and disruptive change facing global society?

At a recent panel sponsored by the University of Virginia’s Tri-Sector Leadership Fellows Program, three UVA deans — Scott Beardsley of the Darden School of Business, Risa Goluboff of the School of Law and Allan Stam of the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy —  explored the challenges and opportunities for global leaders in a tumultuous age.

The panelists shared stimulating thoughts about the biggest global challenges they believe exist today, how the multi-sector theme has factored into their careers and current roles, and provided advice for current and future multi-sector leaders. Professor Mary Margaret Frank, the faculty leader representing the Darden School, provided welcoming remarks and introduced the panelists and Tri-Sector Leadership Fellows to the audience.

Frank highlighted the fact that the Tri-Sector Leadership Fellows program was the “brainchild of a student,” born from an idea by a former Batten and Darden School student who identified a gap and called for more cross-sector knowledge and conversations among graduate students at the business, policy and law schools.

The three deans illustrated the importance of having cross-sector knowledge and perspective as they referred to their career paths and current roles. Pointing out that all of the deans “operate directly at the intersection of business, law and policy,” Dean Stam stated that all leaders must identify the boundaries of what they “must do, can’t do, and the precarious zone of judgement that lies in between the two.” Stam’s experiences in the military taught him teamwork and task accomplishment that he stressed are essential to working with others.

Agreeing with Stam, Dean Beardsley discussed his previous position at McKinsey & Company, where he worked on de-regulation of the global telecommunications industry. He explained that the advent of broadband exposed him to legal and regulatory considerations, causing him to cross into the worlds of law and policy. Explaining the permeability of business, he said “Higher education is a business. You need to recruit talent, oversee budgets, and run an operation.”

“We [deans] are subject to laws and regulations such as Title IX and we need to adhere to these laws,” Beardsley added. He illustrated how higher education is filled with regulations and laws and is subject to the reality of fundraising and budgeting – all requiring cross-disciplinary and cross-sector knowledge and perspectives.

Watch the full video of the Tri-Sector Leadership Fellows dean’s panel and read the full story on the Institute for Business in Society’s blog.

About the University of Virginia Darden School of Business

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business prepares responsible global leaders through unparalleled transformational learning experiences. Darden’s graduate degree programs (MBA, MSBA and Ph.D.) and Executive Education & Lifelong Learning programs offered by the Darden School Foundation set the stage for a lifetime of career advancement and impact. Darden’s top-ranked faculty, renowned for teaching excellence, inspires and shapes modern business leadership worldwide through research, thought leadership and business publishing. Darden has Grounds in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the Washington, D.C., area and a global community that includes 18,000 alumni in 90 countries. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.


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Darden School of Business
University of Virginia