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Academic Leadership Journal

Abstract

“Leadership is an essentially moral act,” said A. Bartlett Giamatti, former president of Yale University, who later became Commissioner of Baseball. But consider these few news items, selected from a multitude of candidates: Eliot Spitzer, former governor of New York, resigned after his involvement with a prostitute was made public. Rod Blagojevich, former governor of Illinois, was removed from office by unanimous vote of the Illinois State Senate after conviction on federal corruption charges. Bernard Madoff, former Wall Street executive and NASDAQ chair, currently is incarcerated in federal prison after conviction for investment fraud. Rev. Jeffrey Sarkies, a popular pastor at West Seattle’s Holy Rosary Church, resigned after the Seattle Archdiocese determined that he had violated their professional ethics policy in the area of sexual misconduct and harassment. Mike Garrison, former president of West Virginia University, resigned after he was accused of compromising the university’s academic integrity in what was described as an improper granting of an executive MBA to the daughter of the governor of that state. Jim Harrick, former head basketball coach at the University of Georgia, resigned after he was accused of National Collegiate Athletic Association violations; Harrick had been fired six years previously as head basketball coach from UCLA for ethics lapses. Dr. Scott Reuben, an anesthesiologist at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, MA and prolific researcher, admitted that he fabricated much of the data for his research. And so on.

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