Liberal Arts and Management Program | The Good Steward
L416 | 14623 | Russ Hanson


Stewardship--the careful management of resources for others' benefit-
is an important concern of public administrators, nonprofit
organizers, and some corporate managers.  But what's so good about
stewardship, anyway? Who benefits from stewardship, and what sort of
stewardship yields the greatest benefits? How does one become a good
steward, and what sorts of knowledge and skills are needed to manage
the different kinds of resources that are entrusted to stewards
today?

These are some of the questions we will discuss in this seminar,
which is about conserving goods that belong to others, or which are
critical to the lives and well-being of those who depend on stewards
for sustenance. The management of trust funds is one example of
stewardship; the efficient delivery of public services is another;
environmental protection is a third; and fidelity in personal and
family affairs is a fourth. In all of these examples (and many more)
the avoidance of undue risk to dependents, and the minimization of
managerial rewards, are imperative. In that respect stewardship is
unlike managing profit-seeking companies, where risk-taking is both
necessary and a highly lucrative form of behavior. A different set
of values, and skills, is therefore necessary for good stewardship,
and in this seminar we will describe and analyze the distinctive
traits of effective stewardship.

We will read about stewardship from a variety of sources, including
Biblical, environmental, managerial and financial sources. Students
will also practice stewardship in an area of interest to them, and
reflect on their experiences in essays that will be written,
revised, and formally presented for discussion to the seminar. The
seminar will fulfill the requirements for Intensive Writing in the
College of Arts & Sciences.