Meet the dean

College of Leadership & Public Service

We exist because the problems of government and public entities today are more complex than ever and require fresh-thinking champions who can bring understanding to that complexity--locally, nationally and beyond.  

Our roots are in conflict management and community service, and from that we believe collaboration is the path to creating common good around the corner or around the world. And we’ve been practicing that for years! In fact, the college is itself a collaboration of four institutes, which have been successfully engaging students and the community for almost a decade, plus a School of Public Policy.

We welcome high-energy, activist students who are highly motivated to not just be a participant in their world, but be a change agent.

Whether you are preparing for a career in the nonprofit sector, in the law, in corporate social responsibility and sustainability, in causes and corporations of all types, you’ll find an academic home here to get the preparation you need for a future based on your passion. 

If you are slightly curious, give me a call or let’s have a cup of coffee if you are on campus at some time.  It could easily be the first step toward a career for both the pioneer and paradigm shifter!

Steve Joiner, D.Min.

Things you should know about the College of Leadership and Public Service:

  • In addition to 35 separate academic courses taught at the graduate and undergraduate level each year, three domestic travel courses and one international travel course provide the groundwork for student engagement.
  • The college produces and co-hosts annually over 20 events and outreach programs on campus to discuss and engage with current issues. In 2014-15 alone these included:
    • An evening with Justice Koch, former Tennessee State Supreme Court Chief Justice, on state judicial issues
    • An evening with Fred Gray, attorney, civil rights leader and faith leader who represented Martin Luther King, the Tuskeegee Airmen, Rosa Parks and the desegregation movement in the state of Alabama
    • Presenting sponsor for Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and Metropolitan Planning Commission’s Middle Tennessee Vital Signs
    • Leadership Tennessee, the premier state-wide program, landed an expansion grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation of $750,000
    • Collaborative Conversations series involving guests from across a spectrum of viewpoints on water issues (fall 2014) and immigration issues (fall 2015)
    • Amendment 2 vote discussion with Governors Haslam and Bredesen on the impact of top judicial elections vs. appointments in the State of Tennessee
    • State of Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts Annual Meeting
    • SkillsLab Series (Leading Teams, December and Strategic Negotiation, February)
    • Mayoral Candidates' Forum with the Civic Design Center
    • Music City Girls' Lead, a program launched by the NCAA Women’s Final Four Host Committee to provide leadership support and guidance to high-school aged women throughout the state
    • Tennessee Association of Professional Mediators' Annual Meeting
  • Hosts Southeast Conference on Conflict Management with, in 2014, former international diplomat and Hezbollah hostage Terry Waite and former Secretary General of NATO, Anders Rasmussen
  • Foundee of “Now That You Ask” with Tom Ingram, an interview evening in which this nationally known political communicator interviews notables about their "backstory."