Maxwell School receives $5 million from alumnus
Maxwell School receives $5 million from alumnusSeptember 14, 2006SU News ServicesSUnews@syr.edu
The Maxwell School has received a $5 million gift — the largest in the school’s 82-year history — to establish the Howard and Louise Phanstiel Chair in Strategic Management and Leadership. Howard Phanstiel, the former chairman and CEO of PacifiCare Health Systems, received his B.A. and M.P.A. degrees from Maxwell in 1970 and 1971, respectively, and currently serves as a member of the Maxwell School Advisory Board.
Phanstiel says that his gift was motivated not only by his desire to help Maxwell but also in large measure by what he observed as a lack of leadership competence at all government levels following last year’s Hurricane Katrina. “In recent years, it seems that our nation’s leaders have emphasized values-related matters over strong, ethical and competent leadership to solve our country’s problems. As a result, public confidence in government institutions is waning, and that’s dangerous for America,” Phanstiel observes.
“The holder of the chair that bears my name will recognize the importance of thinking creatively and understand how to work across disciplines,” Phanstiel says. “He or she will help students learn to frame a clear vision, to organize resources, to create strategies to achieve that vision, and to understand how to communicate the vision effectively to others in order to draw their support and commitment. I want the Phanstiel Chair to help train tomorrow’s leaders — leaders who are ethical, strategic and innovative thinkers.”
According to Maxwell School Dean Mitchel Wallerstein, both the size and purpose of this gift are particularly important to the institution. “This generous gift will allow us to identify an outstanding candidate for the chair, someone with a national reputation and substantial experience in strategic management and leadership,” he says. “The Phanstiel Chair, which will be located in our highly ranked Department of Public Administration, will enable the Maxwell School to assume a national leadership role in this important area. We are indeed fortunate to count Howard and Louise Phanstiel among Maxwell’s most committed supporters of the School and its mission.”
The Maxwell School will undertake a search for the Phanstiel Chair during the coming academic year.