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Center for Leadership Excellence joining Gordon Ford College of Business

The Center for Leadership Excellence at WKU is joining the Gordon Ford College of Business effective July 1.

Cecile Garmon

Dr. Cecile Garmon

Dr. Cecile Garmon, Professor of Communication, will lead the Center as its director and hold the title of Knicely Professor of Leadership. The Center becomes one of the five Centers of Excellence in the Gordon Ford College of Business that serve to advance the applied mission of the college through engagement with business and industry.  The Center for Leadership Excellence will continue the efforts at WKU to create a world-class applied leadership program having positive impacts on our region and beyond.

WKU President Gary Ransdell said he believes an emphasis on leadership is important at WKU.

“Learning leadership skills is at the core of the WKU experience,” Dr. Ransdell said.  “The Center for Leadership Excellence brings structure and context to our capacity to help all of our students, across all disciplines, learn what it takes to lead.  This WKU strength is good for our Gordon Ford College and the College will ensure that students in other colleges benefit as well.”

Dr. Garmon brings a distinguished career of leadership at WKU to her position within the Center and the Gordon Ford College of Business.  In addition, she has a notable career of community service.  She has served on numerous boards, including the Mary Wood Weldon Memorial Library, BB&T for both Kentucky and Glasgow, Area Bankshares in Owensboro, New Farmers National Bank, Barren County Family YMCA and Black Achievers Program in Glasgow. She has also served as president of Kentucky Women’s Leadership Network a member of Leadership Kentucky, and Co-Chair of Leadership Glasgow.

WKU Provost Gordon Emslie sees a good fit between Dr. Garmon’s background and the needs of business students.

“I am delighted to see this fusion of Dr. Garmon’s formidable background in leadership education with the emphasis on leadership skills in the academic programs in the Gordon Ford College of Business.  WKU’s business students will be well served by this move,” Dr. Emslie said.

“We are delighted to add the Center for Leadership Excellence to the applied mission of our college,” said Dr. Jeffrey Katz, Dean of the Gordon Ford College of Business.  “Perhaps one of the greatest needs in the world today is thoughtful, collaborative and ethical leaders. The Gordon Ford College of Business is dedicated to providing the training of such future leaders and the Center for Leadership Excellence gives us the capability to do so.”

Dr. Bob Hatfield, Associate Dean of Graduate Programs in the GFCB, is excited about having the Center of Leadership Excellence complementing the graduate programs within the college.

“Dr. Garmon and I have already discussed how leadership training can play a larger role in the WKU MBA programs,” Dr. Hatfield said.  “In many ways the MBA is a business leadership degree and we look forward to working closely with Dr. Garmon and the center to develop the leadership skills of our students.”

Contact: Bob Hatfield, (270) 745-6581.

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