On Sunday, March 1, Illinois Tech announced the creation of the Followship Academy as an alternative to the already existent Leadership Academy. The academy has been sponsored by less than generous gifts from many Illinois Tech alumni who recognize that without followers, there is no leadership. “We may not realize it, but we follow the direction of someone or something every day,” said Followship Academy Vice President Jorge Seguidor. “In fact, we do not even have a President, because who would they have to follow? As Vice President, I just follow what the Leadership Academy tells me to do.” Seguidor has been a devoted follower of his bosses, the news, and 765 accounts on Instagram with great experience to share with his pupils.
As instructed by the Leadership Academy, the Followship Academy has said that it works to:
Create and implement an effective followship-development program for all Students at Illinois Tech
Promote a culture of following and obedience across the Illinois Tech community
Identify, develop, and support students with exceptional followship potential
Evaluate followship development outcomes at the individual and program levels
Regarding these goals, Seguidor states, “There’s great rhetoric on college campuses today about leadership, but we hear almost nothing about being a follower. We need to recognize that you cannot have one without the other and we need to help students realize not everyone is cut out to lead.” The program will be based on the ‘Three Ds’ of Followship: Docile, Dutiful, and inDifferent. Students who exemplify these qualities may be nominated by their professors to compete for a Followship Scholarship of $75.Along with the Followship Academy, students will be able to pursue the new Followship minor, which will include classes such as PSYC 250.5 Introduction to Followship: Concepts and Practices as well as COM 371.333 Being Persuaded. The minor is described in the course guide as “The course is a survey of historical and contemporary theories, concepts, and complexities associated with being a follower. Emphasis is placed on the application of theories to practical experience of following.” Students of the program are said to look beyond history’s great leaders for inspiration, and instead to those who served under them. On this, Seguidor stated, “I really think figures like Napoleon are overrated; I’m much more interested in his horse.” Questions about the Followship Academy and the Followship minor can be directed to [email protected]