Toward a Caring University: An Interview with Kevin McClure, Part 2


Kevin McClure, PhD, is an associate professor of higher education at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and codirector of the Alliance for Research on Regional Colleges. He regularly publishes about leadership and higher education structures in publications including the Chronicle of Higher Education and EdSurge. He sat down with contributing editor Rebecca Pope-Ruark to discuss the book he is working on about the caring university and his views on preparing future leaders for work in higher education. Part 2 of the interview is presented here, edited lightly for clarity. You can read Part 1 here.

Rebecca Pope-Ruark: You’ve talked elsewhere about the morale and the well-being of leaders being important as well, that often we talk about leaders in very negative terms after they move into administration. So, what are you thinking lately around leadership and morale and well-being?

Kevin McClure: Basically, leadership is central to the employee experience. Data indicates that. But I think we often think of that as a unidirectional relationship, that leaders are the cause of whether or not an employee stays or leaves. And we don’t always do a very good job of then stopping and thinking about, “Well, what is the experience of being a leader at this place, and who is it that is being tapped to step into those roles, and what ways are they being supported?”

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