Collins Award winner to lecture on leadership roles


By Linda Wilkins
Staff Writer

Fake leaders, people who deceive their followers and those who just aren’t what they say they are: either get lost, or listen to Collins Outstanding Professor Dr. Blair Browning. Collins Outstanding Professor Award recipient Dr. Blair W. Browning, communications department professor, will give his Collins Award lecture on leadership today.

The lecture, titled “Prophetic Leadership: How Critical Life Events Act as a Catalyst for Change,” will focus on how life events can change the way people handle leadership roles.

The lecture will be at 4 p.m. in 101 Castellaw Communications Center.

Browning said he will speak about authentic leadership, which is a new area of leadership studies.

He said leaders have often let down their followers because they are not what they claim to be, and today many people are calling for authentic leadership.

Browning said he is excited and grateful for the opportunity to speak about this topic.

“I love getting the opportunity to share about something very relevant to today,” he said.

Authenticity has become a big topic in companies, classrooms and churches, Browning said, and it is something he tries to exemplify himself.

“I try to live an authentic life to my students,” Browning said. “Authentic leaders are role models of what they’re leading.”

Dr. James Bennighof, vice provost for academic affairs and policy, encouraged the Baylor community to attend the lecture.

“It will be very informative and inspiring,” Bennighof said. The Collins Professor is selected by the current senior class, Bennighof said.

Seniors submit nominations for their choice of professor beginning in January.

The faculty members with the highest number of student nominations are then placed on a ballot and seniors vote online to make the final decision.

Bennighof said voting closed March 2. Dr. Michael F. Korpi, professor of film and digital media, won the award in 2006.

He said the award is encouraging for professors because they may not have realized they’ve had an impact on students.

“At the end of the semester, [professors] tend to focus on how they didn’t bat a thousand,” Korpi said, in reference to how some professors might still have students who aren’t successful in their class. “Winning the award means you have a pretty good batting average.”

The Collins Professor receives a cash award of $10,000 and also gives a lecture on a subject of his or her choice near the end of the school year.