A cross-cultural leadership challenge: University-sponsored observatory on sacred Apache site
Marta Shaw, Jagiellonian University, Poland


In the early 2000s, the University of Min- nesota received a grant to buy a share in a telescope to be installed on the site of Mount Graham International Observatory. Located in an area known for some of the clearest skies of the world, the mountain is also one of the four holiest sites of the Western Apache, and construction of the observatory was opposed by numerous Native American groups arguing that the ground is desecrated by the research fa- cilities. Leadership of a University known for its commitment to intercultural dialogue was faced with a choice between two sets of values rooted in dissimilar cultures. On the one hand were the resources available to win a signi - cant research advantage for university scien- tists. On the other, an indigenous community claimed the location as a sacred site. This paper examines the leadership challenge faced by the leaders of the University, analyzes the cultural dimensions underlying the con ict of values, and critiques the ultimate response of Universi- ty leadership as a violation of the principles of ethical leadership in service to the greater good.
Keywords: leadership, ethical leadership, cross-cultural issues, values