Center to host high-level Army seminar
The McConnell Center at the University of Louisville will host 30 mid-career US Army officers for an intensive, month-long seminar designed to broaden their strategic thinking and leadership abilities.
“As the two wars that dominated the first decades of the 21st century come to an end, the US military is working to prepare its officer corps for the challenges ahead. The dynamic international environment and fiscal restraints facing our national security leaders will require creative problem-solvers and strong strategic thinkers,” said Dr. Gary Gregg, director of the McConnell Center and lead faculty for the strategic broadening seminar.
The McConnell Center will direct the UofL seminar June 1-28, drawing on expertise in the university’s faculty in political science, history, Chinese studies, business and Asian democracy programs, as well as guest speakers from across the nation.
Through a series of seminars, lectures and simulations, officers will read and engage classical literature, political philosophy, history and the foundations of constitutional government in America, as well as challenges and opportunities that the US faces in the Pacific Asian region over the next century.
“We are going to educate, energize and inspire these outstanding public servants and soldiers to think strategically and introduce them to academic pursuits they may not have dealt with in years – if at all,” Gregg said. “In many ways, these officers will get a taste of what it is like to be a McConnell Scholar,” he added, referencing the McConnell Center’s signature scholarship program for 40 undergraduate Kentucky students at UofL.
UofL is one of only two civilian universities in the country selected to host the program.
Renee Finnegan, executive director of UofL’s Office of Military Initiatives and Partnerships, said being chosen to provide the seminar is an unprecedented honor.
“We’re thrilled to be part of this effort at the Army’s highest level to help its officers see beyond the immediate horizon of their next assignment,” she said.
“We are honored to have been entrusted with becoming a key strategic partner to help the US Army educate its next generation of great officers,” Gregg added. “This shows how far our reputation for educational excellence has spread and what UofL and the McConnell Center are capable of.”
The University of North Carolina’s Institute for Defense and Business piloted the concept for the Strategic Broadening Program in 2012. This year, the Army selected five institutions to offer the program. UofL and North Carolina were the only civilian universities to make the cut. The US Army War College in Carlisle, Pa., the University of Foreign Military and Cultural Studies at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., and the Center for Advanced Education, National Security Enterprise, in Washington, D.C. also will offer a seminar in 2014.
UofL has been named a military-friendly school five years in a row by G.I. Jobs magazine and is working in partnership with Fort Knox and the Kentucky National Guard through formal partnerships to identify and tackle issues affecting the military.