Chowan University is excited to introduce Dr. Doug Lange, professor for OL 501, Leadership: Theories, Practices, and Context. Doug earned a Master of Business Administration from Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas, and his Doctor of Business Administration in Leadership from Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA. He is currently the Vice President of Business Affairs at Florence Darlington Technical College in Florence, SC. His goal in teaching is to condense a lifetime of leadership experience into a graduate course. He explains, “Students can expect to be engaged and challenged, as this course has been designed to be one of self-reflection and self-discovery.” He continues, “Students are going to learn theory, internalize information, and evaluate theory as we go through the course, especially how the theory influences their own leadership style. Students will emerge with a better understanding of themselves and others, and they will be better prepared to step into greater leadership roles within their organizations.”
Doug’s experience and his military and civilian background is a great example of taking on greater leadership roles throughout his own career. He was commissioned in the Army as an engineering officer and spent ten years in active duty and another 17 as a reservist. He rose to the rank of Colonel, serving in the Gulf War (1990), Kosovo (1999-2000), and Afghanistan (2002-2003). When asked about his greatest leadership accomplishment, Doug speaks of his time as a Deputy Commander of a multi-national joint task force in Afghanistan. He explains, “My proudest accomplishment is taking about 250 people from their normal lives, spending months in intensive training getting them ready, taking them to Afghanistan for a year, and bringing them all safely home to their families. They not only got the job done, but they got it done in a much more competent and confident fashion than they thought was possible.”
Doug has served as Vice-President of Business Affairs at three colleges: Stephens College in Columbia, MO, the University of Pikeville in Pikeville, KY, and Florence-Darlington Technical College (current). As a member of the college leadership team, he frequently communicates with the board of trustees, business leaders, and local and state legislators. He has extensive experience in planning and operations, providing leadership and financial analysis in the development of institutional strategic plans. As an example, he provided strategic planning and analysis to expand the Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine and to establish the College of Optometry, both at the University of Pikesville. Doug has taught graduate courses in accounting and finance and regularly conducts leadership training for corporate clients. He notes that new graduate students are often apprehensive about beginning an academic program, and offers some comfort, “This course, and this program, is designed to teach students one step at a time. Students are going to learn about leadership and themselves, and then assemble that into a more cohesive strategy for how they want to lead people.”
He offers a challenge to students, “I would challenge people to dare to volunteer and to participate in what is going on. Sometimes the reward is something you never expected.” This advice helped him when he lived across from the palace in Afghanistan in downtown Kabul. Doug explains, “When the king [Mohammed Zahr Shah] came out of exile in 2002, he was about 87 years old and his health wasn’t great. I let my medics go across the street a few times a week and check on him, which was something that we were not required to do. When we were leaving the country, we asked if we could stop by and say goodbye. He agreed, and we spent four hours that evening with the king and his brother-in-law and listened to his stories about his experiences and interactions with America from Eisenhower to Nixon. These four hours were the direct result of volunteering. We dared to go out there and engage someone and gained a priceless experience.”
Doug resides with his wife, Lisa, and two Labrador retrievers. He has three sons, four grandchildren, and four great grandchildren. He notes that even though his family is spread out across the country, they still manage to stay close with each other. In his free time, Doug enjoys target shooting, reading (especially leadership research), and teaching.