Flexible Learning

The program is characterized by flexible learning options to encourage participation by candidates in full-time managerial roles who do not wish to leave their current positions to pursue a degree. Learning occurs through a combination of brief face-to-face instruction sessions, independent study, online activities and group work. In addition to full-time and adjunct faculty, the program annually engages multiple recognized and respected leaders from the information professions as professors of practice. These leaders work closely with students and faculty in research, teaching, and mentoring. Along with structured coursework, program activities include presentations to diverse stakeholder groups and a variety of research and analysis projects that will generate a comprehensive portfolio for every student, featuring publishable business cases, scenario plans, issue briefs, and research and analytical papers. Students complete their program with a written dissertation and oral defense before the Committee on Doctoral Studies.

Research Focus

The PhD/MLIP program is focused on developing outstanding library and information services leaders who are credentialed in conducting high quality original research. Program graduates demonstrate competency in a full range of leadership skills along with a keen understanding of the value of original research (and the accompanying research skills) in making wise and visionary decisions while leading library and information centers. Graduates are experienced in evaluating library and information services, with a focus on the evaluation of the management and leadership of those services.

The MLIP doctoral program differs from leadership institutes and other doctoral programs in a number of ways. First, as compared to leadership institutes, it is intensely research-focused. Program delivery is designed for working managers, but it is a Ph.D. degree - by definition a research focused course of study. Secondly, the MLIP program has a longer timeline, allowing for fuller investigation of leadership theories and exploration of them through comprehensive research studies. Thirdly, the MLIP program results in the achievement of a recognized degree demonstrating exceptional proficiency integrating theory and practice.

The MLIP program is different from other doctoral programs in that the entire program is set in the context of managerial leadership, with the focus on leadership theories and their application to the work force. Most importantly, there is an emphasis on advancing students' understanding of research and their ability to perform research and scholarship that contributes to the theory of organizational management and change. This is critical to assist leaders who need to cope with accountability, effectiveness, efficiency, and service improvement. Finally, in addition to full-time Simmons faculty, from SLIS and the School of Management, the program engages multiple recognized and respected leaders from the information professions as professors of practice and guest speakers who serve as models of outstanding leaders who are grounded in research.

Program Models

All curriculum and assessment activities are guided by a leadership model, which was adapted from a model developed by the National Center for Healthcare Leadership. The model consists of twenty-five distinct leadership competencies in three broad areas: Transformation, Accomplishment, and People.

The diagram and language of the model are adapted from the NCHL Healthcare Leadership Model with permission from the National Center for Healthcare Leadership (NCHL). The NCHL Healthcare Leadership Model is (c) 2004-2005 National Center for Healthcare Leadership. All rights reserved. No part of this material may be copied or reproduced in any form without the prior written consent of the National Center for Healthcare Leadership, 515 N. State Street, Suite 2000, Chicago, IL 60610, Phone: 312-755-5017, Fax: 312-755-7498.

Graduates excel in their understanding and demonstration of the twenty-five leadership competencies outlined in the model, including achievement orientation, analytical thinking, problem solving, communication skills, organizational awareness, professionalism, team leadership.

The program is also guided by a curriculum model, which positions the program at the intersection of management, leadership and library and information science. Students are expected to understand and demonstrate their leadership competencies within the disciplinary, temporal, spatial, and political contexts in which library and information enterprises operate.

Required Courses

Students have two years of coursework for a total of 36 credits (please note that some sequencing is required) and have an additional three years to complete the dissertation. After completion of the required coursework, doctoral students are required to enroll in 1 credit each term to maintain their doctoral status until they complete their dissertation.

  • LIS 671 - Managerial Leadership
  • LIS 672 - Research
  • LIS 675 - Evaluation and Statistics
  • LIS 676 - Financial Management
  • LIS 677 - Human Resource Management
  • LIS 678 - Managing and Leading in a Political Environment
  • LIS 680 - Independent Inquiries
  • LIS 681 - Financial Leadership Module
  • LIS 682 - Human Resource Management Module
  • LIS 683 - Managing and Leading in a Political Environment Module
  • LIS 685 - Managerial Leadership in Public Settings
  • LIS 687 - Issues in Information Policy
  • LIS 688 - Fundraising and Entrepreneurial Strategies
  • LIS 691 - Issues in Leading Transformation (Capstone)
  • LIS 699 - Dissertation

If you would like full descriptions of the listed required courses and other courses offered by SLIS, you may visit the Course List Page.