Eisenhower’s Decisions: Interview with Provost Christopher Zappe about EI’s new program

The Eisenhower Institute, an undergraduate public policy organization affiliated with Gettysburg College, is offering a new program for the Fall 2018 semester.

Entitled “Eisenhower’s Decisions,” the new educational opportunity will focus on critical decisions from Dwight D. Eisenhower’s presidency as well as his tenure as the Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces in Europe.

Open to first-years and sophomores, the program will be led by Gettysburg College Provost Christopher Zappe. It will include 6 lunch sessions, in which participants will critically analyze and discuss assigned readings and films. In addition, the participants will take a field trip to the Eisenhower Farm in Gettysburg, PA.  

To supplement the information provided by the Eisenhower Institute’s website, GNN interviewed Provost Chris Zappe, who revealed the following:

Q: What motivated the creation of this project?

A: I proposed this program to provide an opportunity for interested first-year and sophomore students to learn how Dwight D. Eisenhower made critical decisions during his service as the Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces in Europe and as the 34th President of the United States.  Also, I believe that this co-curricular program will serve to help participating students make difficult decisions in their own lives in the coming years and prepare them to engage other programs offered by the Eisenhower Institute in the coming years.

Q: Why/How did you decide to lead the program?

A:  I have a longstanding interest in Eisenhower’s approach to leadership and decision-making.  I have read numerous books about Dwight D. Eisenhower and traveled with Susan Eisenhower (Eisenhower’s granddaughter) to visit the beaches of Normandy where the D-Day landings (which required monumental decisions by Eisenhower) took place.   I am eager to share my passion about Eisenhower’s legacy with interested first-year and sophomore students in our campus community.

Q: How do you believe your past education and experiences will shape the program/discussions?  

A: My doctoral degree is in the field of Decision Sciences, which focuses on systematic and rigorous approaches to decision-making in a variety of settings.   In addition to my advanced studies in decision-making, I have exercised leadership and decision-making as the Provost of Gettysburg College and the Dean of Arts and Sciences at Bucknell University over the past 12 years.  Thus, I will bring a strong theoretical background and significant experience in making difficult decisions to my interactions with the students who participate in “Eisenhower’s Decisions.”

“Eisenhower’s Decisions” now joins the several programs offered by the Eisenhower Institute, which include: “Undergraduate Fellows,” “Fielding Fellows,” “Strategy and Leadership in Transitional Times,” “Environmental Leadership,” “Inside the Middle East,” “Inside Civil Rights,” “Inside Politics” & “Women in Leadership.”

If interested, apply here. The deadline for this EI program application is Friday, September 14 at 11:59PM .

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