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Demographic Leadership: A First-of-Its-Kind Diversity Leadership Online Course in a Tier-1 University Doctorate Degree Program

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Continuing Professional Development Division Technical Session 1

Tagged Division

Continuing Professional Development

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Paper Authors


Mitchell L. Springer Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Dr. Mitchell L. Springer

Dr. Springer currently serves as an Executive Director for Purdue University’s Polytechnic Institute located in West Lafayette, Indiana. He has over thirty-five years of theoretical and defense industry-based practical experience from four disciplines: software engineering, systems engineering, program management and human resources. Dr. Springer possesses a significant strength in pattern recognition, analyzing and improving organizational systems. He is internationally recognized and has contributed to scholarship more than 300 books, articles, presentations, editorials and reviews on software development methodologies, management, organizational change, and program management. Dr. Springer sits on many university and community boards and advisory committees. He is the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions, including local, regional and national recognitions for leadership in diversity, equity and inclusion.

Dr. Springer is the President of the Indiana Council for Continuing Education as well as the Past-Chair of the Continuing Professional Development Division of the American Society for Engineering Education.

Dr. Springer received his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Purdue University, his MBA and Doctorate in Adult and Community Education with a Cognate in Executive Development from Ball State University. He is certified as a Project Management Professional (PMP), Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR & SHRM-SCP), in Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR), and, in civil and domestic mediation. Dr. Springer is a State of Indiana Registered domestic mediator.

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Kathryne Newton Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Dr. Kathy Newton is an Associate Dean of Graduate Programs and Faculty Success for the Purdue Polytechnic Institute at Purdue University. She is a Professor of Supply Chain and Sales Engineering Technology in the School of Engineering Technology. Her teaching and scholarly interests are in the areas of supply chain management, Sales engineering technology, quality control, and graduate education. Sheserved as Department Head of Industrial Technology from 2007 to 2010. Prior to her appointment at Purdue University in 1993, she spent seven years teaching for Texas A&M University’s Industrial Distribution Program in the Department of Engineering Technology. Dr. Newton has a Ph.D. in Educational Human Resource Development, a Master’s degree in Business Administration, and a B.S. in Industrial Distribution, each from Texas A&M University.

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Demographic Leadership – A First of its Kind Diversity Leadership Online Course in a Tier-1 University Doctorate Degree Program

This first course in demographic leadership at a tier 1 university was premised on years of research, practice, and scholarship. Scholarship asking the question “Why don’t you like me?”.

Why don’t you like me, as a research question, is not about the author(s) individually, but about each of us as individuals. It is about all of us. The question is why don’t others like us, or why don’t we like others?

The premise for this discussion resides in understanding; understanding who we are personally and why others may cause us to feel uneasy, fearful or any similarly negative responses.

The demographic leadership course, and its subsequent description in this paper, heightens awareness to the changing face of our Nation. It addresses three major shifts happening right now, and as far into the future as we can see. This paper addresses topics tightly coupled to these three major shifts; namely, (1) the changing racial and ethnic face of our Nation, (2) the shortage of younger individuals to backfill our society, and, (3) the rapidly aging of massive numbers within our society.

This paper details the decisions attendant to the many facets of demographics, and more specifically cultural diversity. These many facets are the premise for this first online course curriculum.

This paper will detail the decisions in designing this course. It will examine and articulate the many meaningful, cross-demographic cohort discussions and agreed to topics. The curriculum, in the final analysis, was designed to heighten awareness to the many tightly integrated cultural issues of today.

Springer, M. L., & Newton, K. (2021, July), Demographic Leadership: A First-of-Its-Kind Diversity Leadership Online Course in a Tier-1 University Doctorate Degree Program Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36899

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2021 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015