22 SES 03 C, Paper Session
In the face of COVID-19, with myriad changes to the way PSE are delivering their teaching and student services mandates (all online teaching and telehealth platforms), wait lists for mental health services have spiked (Canadian Mental Health Association, 2020). That is just one indication of the impact of the pandemic on our well-being.
Leaders on campus need to galvanize efforts to support well-being efforts, now more than ever.
1) To investigate the leadership practices on the campuses that have demonstrated significant progress in the implementation of the Okanagan Charter, a health promotion framework, at signatory campuses
2) To propose how the leadership model of the exemplar campus can support campuses in the well-being efforts as we move through the pandemic and beyond
Research Question: What type of leadership model and what leadership practices are most effective in embedding a wholistic health promotion framework in higher education, and how can these findings underpin campus efforts to support well-being going forward?
Our study examined the implementation of the Okanagan Charter (2015) on 10 campuses. The Charter is a health promotion framework that exemplifies a systems approach to health promotion that experts in the field advocate for as an essential structure to guide well-being efforts (see Dooris, et al., 2014; Newton, et al., 2016). We wanted to determine what was working and why, and how campuses intended to evaluate their progress on the Calls to Action and commitments described in the Okanagan Charter. We used the conceptual model proposed by Dooris et al. (2010) to frame our study of the different elements of a robust Healthy Campus strategy. Dooris and his associates are preeminent scholars in the field working within the United Kingdom Health Promoting Campuses network. Their model succinctly conveys the foundations of a Healthy University framework, where higher education and public health drivers inform and shape decisions; these decisions are influenced by under-pinning values of the university and its community. The key focus areas describe the pillars of focused strategies and actions to achieve the goals of a health promotion framework, resulting in identifiable deliverables and impacts. This model best explains the approach to our study and highlights core ideas that we will investigate.
The goal of this study was to then understand what key practices, policies, and leadership styles seemed most likely to produce a coordinated approach and achieve the intended outcomes of the Charter. This study will be shared with the Canadian Network of Health Promoting Campuses, the UK network, and the International Health Promoting Universities and Campuses. While there are other European health promoting campuses and networks, the challenge remains with how do we broaden out the efforts and network with each other, nationally and globally. These understandings and leadership principles will be leveraged in proposing a larger study with the goal that we build a global advocacy coalition. Sabatier (1987), who stated that advocacy coalitions are comprised of people and organizations that share a set of normative and causal beliefs concerning the policy area, and act together.By having effective global networks, we can amplify the efforts from exemplar campuses to exemplar campuses and provide a framework to galvanize health promotion globally. This work will help address the United Nations Sustainability Development Goal #3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all. This goal has become especially prominent as the world tries to slow the COVID crisis and move beyond to a post-pandemic world that will be forever changed by our recent experiences.
To this point, almost all post-secondary education campuses and organizations that have signed on to the Charter have been Canadian. However, more campuses and organizations have signed on every month; currently, campuses and organizations from other countries are working towards signing the Charter. We purposefully focused our study on the first 10 campuses that signed on to the Okanagan Charter. For this qualitative multi-site case study (Merriam, 1998; Yin, 2014), we examined any pertinent, publicly available documents and the campus websites to determine how prominent the well-being efforts were. As well, strategic plans and mission statements were explored to determine the importance and visibility afforded to these efforts. After receiving ethics approval from each institution, we also conducted semi-structured interviews with key informants at each of the campuses (1 – 3 per campus); some participants emailed us other non-confidential relevant documents. Each interview lasted approximately one hour, and the interviews were conducted in person or by telephone (note that the data collection was completed pre-COVID). Both the principal investigator and the co-investigator conducted the interviews. The interviews were recorded and then transcribed by the Social Sciences Research Lab on our campus. All data were analyzed using qualitative data analysis techniques as proposed by Saldaña (2014). A multi-case study allows for an analysis within each context, and then for an analysis across the cases in order to understand similarities and differences (Baxter & Jack, 2008). First, each case is analyzed independently to identify themes during a within-case analysis (Baxter & Jack, 2008), and then a cross case analysis or a holistic analysis across cases will uncover similar as well as unique themes (Yin, 2014).
A striking finding was the crucial influence of leadership, both at the senior administrative level and at the level of the leaders working within portfolios directly connected to the well-being efforts. The exemplar campus had employed a collaborative leadership model with intentional and systematic connections among leaders. Leaders at all levels meet regularly to determine progress and strategize future action; this approach is a key foundation to ensure the whole campus is galvanized around this priority. Furthermore, some campuses have embedded wellbeing as a pillar within their strategic plans, resulting in an elevation of this priority and signaling its importance to all campus stakeholders.In some cases, there were changes in the senior leadership or in the wellbeing champions on campus. If the incoming leader held different priorities for the campus, the effects were dramatic in that progress on wellness strategies and collaboration on the wellness initiatives seemed to halt. Additionally, support varied across the country. Because, within the Canadian context, there is provincial jurisdiction over both health and education, the leadership shown by provincial governments was variable. The campuses in provinces that had a history of supporting wellbeing were much more advanced in their approaches to implementing the Charter initiatives. Educational Importance: In the face of the pandemic, campuses need leaders who communicate frequently and make well-being a critical piece of the messaging. Through strong and collaborative leadership, campuses will galvanize efforts to support the well-being of their constituents and plan a way forward for everyone through this crisis and beyond. By then connecting the work of these campuses through national and international networks, we believe we can build a robust global advocacy coalition.
Baxter, P., & Jack, S. (2008). Qualitative case study methodology: Study design and implementation for novice researchers. The Qualitative Report, 13(4), 544-559. Canadian Mental Health Association (2020). COVID 19 National Survey Dashboard. Retrieved from: https://www.camh.ca/en/health-info/mental-health-and-covid-19/covid-19-national-survey Dooris, M. (2009). Holistic and sustainable health improvement: the contribution of the settings-based approach to health promotion. Perspectives in Public Health, 129(1), 29-36. Dooris, M., Cawood, J., Doherty, S., & Powell, S. (2010). Healthy Universities: Concept, model and framework for applying the healthy settings approach within higher education in England. Preston, England: UCLan. Merriam, S. B. (1998). Qualitative research and case study applications in education. Jossey-Bass Publishers. Newton, J., Dooris, M., & Wills, J. (2016). Healthy universities: An example of a whole-system health-promoting setting. Global Health Promotion, 23, 57-65. Okanagan Charter: An International Charter for Health Promoting Universities and Colleges (2015). Okanagan Charter. Kelowna, BC: Author. Retrieved from: http://internationalhealthycampuses2015.sites.olt.ubc.ca/files/2016/01/Okanagan-Charter-January13v2.pdf Sabatier, P. A. (1987). Knowledge, policy-oriented learning, and policy change: An advocacy coalition framework. Knowledge: Creation, Diffusion, Utilization, 8(4), 649-692. Saldaña, J. (2014). Case study research: Design and methods (5th ed.). Sage Publications. United Nations (n.d.). United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Retrieved from: https://sdgs.un.org/goals/goal3 Yin, R. K. (2014). Case study research: Design and methods (5th Ed.). Sage Publications.
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