Carnegie Foundation Selects Colleges and Universities for Inaugural Leadership for Public Purpose Classification

Washington (June 14, 2024)—Twenty-five U.S. colleges and universities are the first to receive the Carnegie Leadership for Public Purpose Classification, an elective designation awarded by the American Council on Education (ACE), the Doerr Institute for New Leaders at Rice University, and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

This classification recognizes institutions that have committed to campus-wide efforts to advance leadership in pursuit of public goods like justice, equity, diversity, and liberty.

“For several years the Doerr Institute for New Leaders has substantively supported the American Council on Education and the Carnegie Foundation’s collaborative efforts to establish the classification. We are excited about continuing such efforts in service of improving higher education’s commitment to fostering integrated and intentional leader development for students,” said Bernard B. Banks, director of the Doerr Institute for New Leaders.

After a period of rigorous self-study, each institution demonstrated a steadfast commitment to creating a campus culture of leadership through several learning, teaching, and research goals: fostering leadership skills campus-wide; enhancing public and scholarly awareness of leadership’s universal benefits while recognizing the social and political contexts in which leadership operates; getting students ready to be leaders for the public good in their careers, communities, and society.

“ACE is proud to welcome the inaugural recipients of the Carnegie Elective Classification for Leadership for Public Purpose,” said ACE President Ted Mitchell. “The institutions in this cohort serve as models in higher education, demonstrating excellence in nurturing leaders who are prepared to address and solve pressing public challenges, which is sorely needed in our society right now.”

Representing 19 states across the United States, 15 of the institutions classified in the inaugural 2024 cycle are public institutions—including two service academies—and 10 are private, including a women’s college. Seven are Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), with one MSI also designated as an Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution.

“Congratulations to these pioneering recipients of the inaugural Carnegie Leadership for Public Purpose Classification,” said Carnegie Foundation President Timothy F.C. Knowles. “These institutions have demonstrated a relentless commitment to fostering leaders dedicated to the pursuit of vital public goods. Students from these institutions will undoubtedly shape a brighter future for us all, upholding fundamental American values and advancing opportunity for the nation.”

The 2024 Carnegie Leadership for Public Purpose Classification recipients are:

Arizona State University

Boise State University

California State University-Fresno

Claremont McKenna College

Creighton University

East Carolina University

Florida International University

Fort Hays State University

Gettysburg College

James Madison University

Miami Dade College

Montclair State University

Oklahoma State University

Oral Roberts University

Rice University

Saint Peter’s University

San Antonio College

Simmons University

U.S. Coast Guard Academy

U.S. Naval Academy

Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences

University of Cincinnati

University of Portland

Valparaiso University

Wartburg College

The Elective Classifications provide an independent and rigorous assessment of an institution’s extraordinary commitment to, investment in, and accomplishment at addressing pressing issues of the societies they serve. There are currently two Elective Classifications that institutions in the United States can pursue: Community Engagement and Leadership for Public Purpose. The Australian version of the Carnegie Classification for Community Engagement was recently launched, and Canada is set to launch its own version.

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About ACE

ACE is a membership organization that leads higher education with a united vision for the future, galvanizing our members to make change and collaborating across the sector to design solutions for today’s challenges, serve the needs of a diverse student population, and shape effective public policy. As the major coordinating body for the nation’s colleges and universities, our strength lies in our diverse membership of more than 1,600 colleges and universities, related associations, and other organizations in America and abroad. ACE is the only major higher education association to represent all types of U.S. accredited, degree-granting colleges and universities. For more information, please visit or follow ACE on X (formerly known as Twitter) @ACEducation.

About The Carnegie Foundation

The mission of the Carnegie Foundation is to catalyze transformational change in education so that every student has the opportunity to live a healthy, dignified, and fulfilling life. Enacted by an act of Congress in 1906, the Foundation has a rich history of driving transformational change in the education sector, including the establishment of TIAA-CREF and the creation of the Education Testing Service, the GRE, and the Carnegie Classifications for Higher Education. The Foundation was also instrumental in the formation of the U.S. Department of Education and Pell Grants, and most recently in the use of networked improvement science to redress systemic inequities in educational opportunities and outcomes.

About The Doerr Institute for New Leaders

The Doerr Institute for New Leaders is a university-wide leader development enterprise at Rice University. Its mission is to elevate the leadership capacity of Rice students and advance the practice of leader development across higher education. At its core, the Doerr Institute is dedicated to the belief that inculcating a leader identity is developed through a myriad of rigorous activities (e.g., academic study, proper introspection, and hands-on experimentation). Since its founding by John and Ann Doerr in 2015, the Doerr Institute has impacted more than 5,000 students through cutting-edge research, experiential learning, and personalized coaching. For more information, please visit or @doerrinstitute.


Audrey Hamilton