This extraordinary symposium held on January 24, 2011 offered insight into the leadership practices that contributed to the Challenger disaster, and discussed how these practices continue to harm business and government today. By exploring how certain leadership styles generated a cascade of failures – from the space shuttle catastrophes to the Enron and Madoff debacles – participants learned ways to privilege truth-telling, champion dissent, and reward ethical behavior.
This event was co-sponsored with the College of Educational Studies, Argyros School of Business and Economics, the Leatherby Libraries, Schmid College of Science, Omnicron Delta Kappa the Leadership Honor Society. Mark Maier, Ph.D., director of Leadership Studies in the College of Educational Studies at Chapman University moderated the symposium. Allan J. McDonald, Former director of the Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Motor Project at ATK Thiokol and author of Truth, Lies & O-Rings: Inside the Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster and Richard C. Cook, former lead resource analyst at NASA, and author of Challenger Revealed both spoke at the symposium.
Also featured were artifacts and memorabilia from the Roger and Roberta Boisjoly Challenger Disaster Collection, donated to Chapman University in 2010. Boisjoly was one of the first and most vocal experts to call for a cancellation of the Challenger flight before its ill-fated lift-off on January 28, 1986.
For more information please see the news article on this event in Happenings.