Dr. Rich Whitney is an Associate Professor and Program Director in the Organizational Leadership Doctoral Program at the University of La Verne in Southern California. He teaches courses in the first and third years of the program coursework. His first-year courses focus on personal leadership through assessments, consciousness of self and leadership theory. Third year courses include program development and dissertation preparation. Dr. Whitney’s interest and research in when one identifies as a leader, theory and program development. Dr. Whitney also teaches in the Social Justice in Higher Education Master’s program. Previously he was a professor in the counseling-college student development program at DePaul University in Chicago. Prior to the professorate, his higher education experience includes the University of Nevada, in his hometown of Reno. He worked in Residential Life, Fraternity and Sorority advising, leadership programs, and student affairs. He served as the Assistant Director for Management and Leadership Programs for the Nevada Extended Studies program.
He has been training, facilitating, and speaking to groups on leadership for over 25 years. His approach is from the understanding that the classroom is a conversation with the students that respects the combined knowledge in the room build from the combined energy of experience on the topic. As a proponent of experiential learning theory, he believes that learning is a function of relearning based on previous experience and actions. Rich conducts seminars at various venues including on-campus, corporations, and non-profit organizations. His research, writing, speaking, and presentations include the topics of leadership, leadership development, leadership education, teamwork/collaboration, brain-based learning, and program development. His research interests include the phenomenology of leadership, brain-based learning, and program development.
Dr. Whitney has conducted research using the methodologies of quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods. His mission is to research and theory into working knowledge that influence the way we teach, learn, work, and lead. His early work examining the phenomenology of leader identity is presented in a variety of formats including, What Nevada leaders say about the leadership process
Dr. Whitney’s awareness of this thing called leadership began as a leader in the Honor Society for the Boy Scouts of America in his late teens. Returning to the program of interest he began working with the Boy Scouts in 2016. He was the principal leadership scholar to the task force to review and refresh the National Leadership Seminar. He serves as the National NLS Content Lead Adviser for the program. He has presented at international leadership conferences and is prepping multiple research articles surrounding this work. As a result of this work Dr. Whitney was recruited to work with the adult based Developing Youth Leaders Conference.
In 2019 Dr. Whitney was asked to create a leadership program for the 24th World Scout Jamboree involving 49,000 Scouts from around the world. The GLOBE was attended by more than 5,500 participants and leadership was taught through experience, videos, escape rooms, and guided discussions. In 2021 Dr. Whitney will develop a program to present leadership, engagement, new member activation, and recruitment at the National Scout Jamboree for BSA members.