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Fall Semester 2001
Faculty: Professor B.Quill, bquill@sph.uth.tmc.edu
Dr. Wendy L. Schultz, wendy@infinitefutures.com
Dr. B.J.Selwyn, bselwyn@sph.uth.tmc.edu

Course Description | Course Modules and Assignments

This course is designed for doctoral students in all disciplines and modules. The purpose of the course is to expose students to concepts and theories of leadership, present leadership challenges from public health practice and discover personal leadership attributes. Content areas will include leadership theory; personal leadership; leadership in organizations; leadership in communities and leadership in research. Emphasis will be placed on the application of the course material to real life public health problems and issues in the development of public health careers. Special topics may include futures research, systems thinking, sustainable development and leadership in science.

Why take it?
In an era characterized by rapid-fire, revolutionary change generated more and more by innovations in biotechnology and genomics, and with increasing environmental impacts on global health, assuming the status quo as a working environment is maladaptive. Given this context of turbulent change, all public health professionals would do well to acquire and hone their personal kit of leadership skills: foresight, systems thinking, issue management, impact assessment, critical thinking, contingency planning, visioning, strategic planning, change management, facilitation, and negotiation. Managers work incrementally toward established goals; leaders create progress through transformation. Managers implement strategic plans; leaders articulate the vision at the core of the plan. Whether working within grassroots community organizations or national policy agencies or in public health research arenas, public health professionals need to recognize their own innate leadership abilities and use them.

Prerequisites: Currently enrolled as a doctoral student or approval of instructor.
Semester Hours: 3


In addition to class attendance, class participation, and displaying familiarity with the assigned reading material, students will be responsible for the following:

  • Scanning journal: each student will keep a journal in which they note emerging issues of change culled from journals, newspapers, magazines, TV, radio, the Internet or any other media. Entries of approximately one paragraph; twelve to fifteen entries required by the end of term (December 4th). Be prepared to tell us something in class --- we will have a brief period for "scanning hits" in most classes.
  • A book report of approximately 5-7 pages; also to be summarized in class, with an accompanying one-page, bullet-point handout highlighting key ideas; due September 18th, 25th, or October 2rd.
  • A short essay -- 2-3 pages -- offering your personal reflection on the leadership characteristics discussed in class, especially vis-a-vis your personality type and learning style; due October 9th.
  • A working group report on one of the leadership models, including an assessment of strengths and weaknesses, and examples of that model from the micro, institutional, and macro levels of the public health infrastructure. Prepared as bullet-point handouts and a 15-20 minute presentation to the class, due October 30th.
  • A final, individual report wherein each student will choose one emerging issue of change critical to public health, discuss its possible impacts and outcomes, choose a leadership style most appropriate to addressing that critical issue, and offer two or three strategies for addressing that issue appropriate to the leadership model chosen. Conclude by commenting/showing how well suited you are to this particular leadership style (demonstrate goodness of fit); due November 27th or December 4th.



Academic honesty: Students are expected to abide by the UTSPH policies regarding academic honesty.
American Disabilities Act Accommodations: "If you have a documented disability that will impact your work in this course, please contact Dr. Cynthia Chappell, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and SPH 504 Coordinator. Additionally notify the sponsoring faculty teaching this course."



This course provides a solid introduction to the concepts, models, and tools associated with leadership and necessary to enhance participant's personal leadership abilities. By the end of the course the student will be able to:

  • describe a range of leadership models, where they are often applied in public health, where they are most appropriately applied, and which offer the best fit to participant's own personal styles and work environment;
  • recognize and use three modes of thinking -- systems thinking, creative thinking, and critical thinking -- with regard to public health issues;
  • apply basic foresight tools -- environmental scanning and issues management, impact assessment, scenario forecasting, and visioning -- within participant's own work environment to enhance their own, and their coworkers' leadership activities;
  • acquire and apply critical tools for group process and communication in order to further leadership in change management.
  • display the application of leadership principles to public health problems and systems.
  • discuss complex issues in community and public health from the perspective of the leadership literature.


Required Reading(s):

Rowitz, L. (2000) Public Health Leadership: Putting Principles into Practice. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

A set of readings is available from Quik Copy for the course. The readings assigned are in this course pack unless otherwise noted.

*Additional references and resources will be offered to students during the course. Students are encouraged to explore resources independently and share these with the class.

> Resources > Course Syllabi > Intro | Classics | Systems | Methods | Facilitation | Governance | Images | World | Leadership

15 February 2003. Email IF.
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