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Innovative Approaches to Educational Leadership

Selected Cases


Edited By Carrie Rogers, Kofi Lomotey and Adriel Hilton

Of late, leadership has come to include individuals in elementary, secondary and tertiary institutions who do not necessarily carry leadership titles.  Faculty in preK-16 institutions, along with other staff and community people, have increasingly begun to take on leadership responsibilities as shared leadership is articulated and practiced more and more in education.  This volume focuses on educational leadership--broadly defined.  More specifically, following several research-based thought pieces in which the authors define and discuss this new conception of leadership, contributors offer preK-16 case study illustrations of this recent conception of educational leadership.  Readers will use this casebook as a foundational text for courses in teacher education, educational leadership, business and higher education. It includes detailed chapters focused on teacher leadership, principal leadership and higher educational leadership.
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Chapter Twelve: Paul Quinn College’s Michael J. Sorrell: A Case Study in Servant Leadership and Urban Renewal (Amanda Washington / Levon Esters / Marybeth Gasman)


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Paul Quinn College’s Michael J. Sorrell

A Case Study in Servant Leadership and Urban Renewal


Paul Quinn College is a private, faith-based, four-year liberal arts-inspired college that was founded on April 4, 1872 by a group of African Methodist Episcopal Church preachers in Austin, Texas. Today, the college boasts accolades that praise everything from its student leadership style to its institutional motto. Many of Paul Quinn College’s accomplishments are the result of its faculty, students, and the dynamic leadership of President Michael Sorrell. Since 2007, under the presidency of Sorrell, Paul Quinn College has grown substantially. His leadership has focused on entrepreneurship, empowerment, and student engagement. With the implementation of the institutional ethos, “WE over me,” President Michael Sorrell has proven that his unique leadership style is helping to revitalize Paul Quinn College while also instituting innovative and strategic developments for the small college’s continued progress and evolution (Conrad & Gasman, 2015).


President Sorrell’s motto of “We Over Me” is emblematic of the core principles of servant leadership, which emphasize increased service to others, a holistic approach to work, promoting a sense of community and the sharing of power in decision-making (Greenleaf & Spears, 2002; Spears, 2004; Spears & Schmader, 2014). Sorrell’s commitment to the art and practice of relationship management has been effective in creating a culture at Paul Quinn where...

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