The Broadening Leadership Initiative was first created in 1999 under the direction of Chancellor F.C. Richardson. At the time, it supported the fifth goal of the IU Southeast Strategic Plan; "Build and sustain a strong sense of campus community," in “Meeting the Future with Excellence: Strategic Directions for Indiana University Southeast.” The Broadening Leadership program brought 12 - 14 employees together on an annual basis for five one-day seminars to learn about leadership in higher education. The theory behind the program was to provide professional development opportunities and to open communication lines among employees in all segments in order to strengthen the campuses core foundation; its human resources. It was a program for faculty and staff to participate in professional development opportunities in higher education.

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