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About the Walter Center for Strategic Leadership

Business students work on a group activity at a table together

We develop leaders who earn leadership by creating value, inspiring others to follow, and doing business with integrity.

Providing opportunities for collaboration and exposing students to real-world challenges is key in achieving our mission to build the next generation of leaders. We grow leaders who emulate the characteristics of role models in the business world – entrepreneurial, capable of taking disciplined risk, adaptive to market demands, resilient in the face of challenges, and cognizant of their inherent impact on others they lead. Our leaders remain steadfast in their principles while exhibiting ethics, values, and respect for diversity and inclusivity.

Our Team

People are at the heart of everything we do. Faculty who lead the Walter Center brings impressive academic credentials, years of industry experience, and a sincere dedication to student development.

Meet Our Team

Our Center's Benefactor

Robert D. Walter

The Robert D. Walter Center for Strategic Leadership (Walter Center) is dedicated to Robert D. Walter, founder, retired chairman, and CEO of Cardinal Health, Inc., a multi-billion dollar global provider of health care products and services. When he retired in 2008, Cardinal Health was ranked 19 on the Fortune 500. He currently serves on the Board of Directors at American Express Company, YUMI Brands, Inc., and Nordstrom, Inc., and is a partner with Talisman Capital Partners.

At Ohio University, Walter was involved on the Ohio University Board of Trustees and also served for chair of the board. Over the years, gifts from Walter and his wife Peggy have been instrumental in the construction and renovation of three facilities on campus: Margaret M. Walter Hall, Walter International Education Center, and Walter Fieldhouse. The couple currently reside in Dublin, Ohio.

Our Leadership Approach

The Walter Center leverages tested theories, approaches, and best practices to ensure students are prepared with the knowledge, skills, and competencies to launch successful careers and become transformational leaders in their industries. Through the employment of the Strategic Leadership Competency Model (SLCM), students better understand themselves, their teams, and their organizations.

The SLCM is an adaptation of Sirmon et al.’s (2007) model of resourced-based theory, which outlines a process by which organizations structure, bundle, and leverage resources in order to add value and gain competitive advantage. Our model is focused on the intangible resources possessed by individual students in leadership development programs. It uses the terms recognizing, mobilizing, and executing to label its components.

Walter Center programing allows students to:

  1. Recognize intangible resources in the form of their potential leadership qualities. The four qualities (or resources) we seek to recognize in potential leaders are knowledge of business, strategic thinking, ability to generate ideas and focus, and learning agility.
  2. Mobilize leadership development by translating predictive qualities into capabilities, or practical skills. Through coursework and other instruction-based activities, a SLCM-based program would empower participants with motivation to lead and the ability to develop and inspire people, foster collaboration, and embody leadership presence and communication.
  3. Execute hands-on activities that improve students’ ability to lead, inspire, collaborate, and communicate. This will foster development of capabilities into the core competencies of acting on analysis, creating value from fit, competitively driving results, and following through on promises. The end result is performance that adds value and gives our students a competitive advantage in the job market.

Our Leadership Model


Graphic representing Walter Center's leadership model