Eighty-three Detroit Public Schools staff members headed to U-M for intense training and planning with top international experts

This week 21 Detroit Public Schools Principals and teachers, along with 18 academic/curricular leaders, 24 additional educational support leaders and the entire DPS Cabinet are among 83 school district leaders who will participate in a customized two-and-a-half day leadership/organizational development training conducted by international experts from the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.

The Michigan Ross Team, led by Dr. Kim Cameron, the William Russell Kelly Professor of Management & Organizations in the Ross School of Business and Professor of Higher Education in the School of Education, and Dr. Robert Quinn, the Margaret Elliott Tracy Collegiate Professor in Business Administration in the Ross School of Business, are conducting all aspects of the program at no charge to the district. This is part of a new partnership with U-M Ross to accelerate the district’s strategy planning and reinvent and transform the district’s business operations to support high achieving schools over the course of the next year.

“The bottom line is that we must restructure the services that the District provides to schools and families to focus on academic success, first and foremost, and to ensure that our schools’ progress not only continues, but accelerates,” said DPS Emergency Manager Darnell Earley. “The critical work being undertaken by the U-M Ross and DPS teams is tangible proof of my 10-Point Management Plan in action and, I am certain, will help guide our way to moving the District toward long-term financial stability and educational competitiveness.”

The DPS team members headed to U-M on Tuesday have been identified as “positive energy innovators” and will spend these extended sessions at the Ross School, as well as time in Detroit with follow-up visits to DPS by Ross faculty over the coming months, as part of a new tailored executive leadership program designed to set a clear path forward for the district’s efforts to restructure its operations and re-engineer the way the District provides services to and supports its schools and students.

“Our aspiration in partnering with the Detroit Public School System leaders is to help provide a leadership foundation that will produce extraordinary performance in DPS,” said Professor Cameron of the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. “The positive energy and commitment exemplified by DPS leadership is an important prerequisite in helping a system that has been struggling become a benchmark for the rest of the nation.”

The Michigan Ross faculty members partnering with the District have successfully assisted leaders to achieve high levels of performance in such diverse organizations as Oracle, Bank of America, the National Intelligence Agencies, U.S. Army General officers, Prudential, Pfizer and the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, along with dozens of others.

As part of the training program, the DPS leadership team, under the direction of Emergency Manager Darnell Earley, has committed to:

  • Create a high performance environment;
  • Provide the tools, resources and technology to accomplish work activities;
  • Utilize comprehensive performance management in a clear and transparent decision process, and;
  • Recognize and reward behaviors that reinforce a lean, agile performance-driven culture.

Professors Cameron and Quinn have been published in more than 200 academic articles and more than 30 scholarly books between them. They are co-founders of the Center for Positive Organizational Scholarship at the University of Michigan. Both are also integral faculty members of the Ross Executive Education Program, which offers open enrollment and custom programs to executives and companies on a host of leadership and management issues.

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