1st Edition

Towards the Compassionate University From Golden Thread to Global Impact

Edited By Kathryn Waddington Copyright 2021

    This book makes a significant contribution to the need for compassion in the 21st-century neoliberal university. Compassion is a process that involves (i) noticing that suffering is present in an organization; (ii) making meaning of suffering in a way that contributes to a desire to alleviate it; (iii) feeling empathic concern; and (iv) taking action. There is increasing recognition of the crucial role of compassion as a core concern in education, health and social care, and globally to ensure the future sustainability of humankind and the planet. Drawing upon a wide range of interdisciplinary, theoretical, and professional perspectives—including social sciences, modern Darwinism, intersectionality, higher education policy, and organization studies—the book addresses the key challenges facing 21st-century universities. For example, intersectionality and higher education, staff and student health and well-being, and responding to global challenges such as the coronavirus pandemic.

    The book is relevant to university leaders, policy makers, educators, researchers, university staff, and students aspiring to develop their own understanding of the role of compassion in professional life. It is an important marker of the compassion turn in higher education and what this means for contemporary academic leadership, followership, and pedagogical practice.

    Part I: The Need And Foundations For Compassion

    1. Introduction: Why Compassion? Why Now?

    Kathryn Waddington

    2. From ‘Me’ To ‘We’: Change The Pronoun, Change The World

    Maurice Irfan Coles

    3. Darwin, Evolution, And Compassion In The 21st-Century University

    Dermot Breslin

    Part II: Compassion In Action

    4. Action Learning As A Vehicle For Compassion

    Kathryn Waddington And Yusuf Kaplan

    5. Dreaming Of Compassion

    Coreene Archer

    6. Befriending Ourselves: Self-Compassion

    Jenni Nowlan

    7. Flourishing In The University Understory: Could Compassion Help?

    Justin Haroun

    8. Holistic Business Psychology Practice: Towards Building A Culture Of Compassion In Higher Education

    Lisa Matthewman

    9. Compassion: An Antidote To Neoliberal Higher Education Policies In England

    Frands Pedersen

    10. Compassion And Tolerance: Their Relationship In A Spirit For Turbulent Times

    Yusuf Kaplan

    Part III: Towards The Compassionate University

    11. What Constitutes A Compassionate University?

    Tony Belak And Kathryn Waddington

    12. Care, Concern, And Compassion In Higher Education

    Patrick Pietroni

    13. Concluding Remarks

    Kathryn Waddington



    Kathryn Waddington is a Chartered Psychologist, Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and Reader in Work and Organizational Psycholog at the Uniersity of Westminster. She authored the research monograph Gossip and Organizations and cares deeply about academicpractitioner research and scholarship that makes a positive difference to people’s lives.