Call for Chapters: Leadership Wellness and Mental Health Concerns in Higher Education


Dr. Cynthia Alexander, Acadia University, Nova Scotia, Canada

Call for Chapters

Proposals Submission Deadline: September 24, 2021
Full Chapters Due: October 24, 2021


Participants from education and health organizations, including the World Health Organization and UNESCO, from 45 countries met in Kelowna, British Columbia in June 2015. They co-developed the Okanagan Charter: An International Charter for Health Promoting University and Colleges which provides principles and a framework to become ‘a health and wellbeing promoting campus’. The Okanagan Charter includes the following two Calls to Action:

• To embed health into all aspects of campus culture, across the administration, operations and academic mandates;
• To lead health promotion action and collaboration locally and globally.

Wellbeing is foundational to citizens’ individual and collective ability to acknowledge, address, and alleviate ongoing struggles (i.e. systemic discrimination; the increasing corporatization of tertiary education), shared risks (ie. COVID-19 pandemic) and unprecedented challenges of our time (i.e. the climate crisis). A holistic focus on wellness across campus communities is timely and important, given that national and global justice movements are calling upon post-secondary institutions to address the ways in which education systems have been reproducing dominant narratives, reinforcing systemic discrimination, and retaliating against education leaders who work to disrupt structural inequalities.

This book will offer diverse perspectives about whether and how campus leaders (including faculty and students, staff and senior administrators) around the world are sustaining and advancing health and wellness in unprecedented times. Wellness, defined here as the practice of engaging in behaviors and actions that improve the mental, emotional, and physical state of individuals, is a growing topic of increasing interest globally, due in part to ever-increasing reports of burnout among campus community members.

Contributors will share their perspectives, ideas and/or actions about health and wellbeing in post-secondary education with a focus on individual wellbeing, group wellness, and/or a whole-of-campus approach. The book will present contributors’ theoretical insights, policy analyses, applied case studies, individual and collaborative innovations, and/or comparative (local, regional, national or international) inquiry.


This publication will be one of the first texts to explore wellness in higher education from the leadership context. This book will offer:

• insights and innovations drawn from personal experience, collaborative engagement and individual endeavors around wellness in post-secondary education;
• advice and recommendations based on policy dialogues, guiding frameworks, and/or strategic planning initiatives focused on wellness in higher education;
• actions to advance wellness, including modes of resistance and resurgence by diverse campus leaders from under-represented and/or underpaid and/or under-resourced populations;
• individual, group-based and campus-wide wellness approaches, pedagogies and/or practices.

The wellness needs, approaches and initiatives of campus leaders remains generally under-researched, meaning there should be a wide array of voices which have not yet found a platform on which to be shared. This book will amplify diverse voices in the exploration of how to advance individual and collective wellbeing in higher education.

Target Audience

The target audience of this book will be composed of scholars and senior students in a range of disciplines (i.e. sociology, community development, education, political studies, women and gender studies, public health), public policy analysts, and the attentive public interested in the fields of higher education, health and wellness, equity, diversity and inclusion. Furthermore, the book will be of interest to current campus leaders, emerging higher education leaders, those who seek senior leadership positions, and communities and organizations which engage with higher education institutions.

Recommended Topics

What follows is an illustrative, not exhaustive, list of potential topics:

• Assessing global, national and/or campus policy commitments to health and wellness in higher education
• Assessing individual campus wellbeing frameworks/guidelines/strategic plans
• Developing wellness-focused departments/units/support systems/resources in higher education

• Pedagogical innovations to advance health and wellness

• Individual and collective wellness responses in higher education to respond to specific challenges/threats (i.e. Covid-19 pandemic; climate crisis; increasing racism; war and conflict; natural disasters)
• Wellness requirements related to the drastically altered learning environments necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic (i.e. the effects of online learning on belonging/connectivity; lack of privacy/space at home; increasing workload; finding ways to disconnect; financial wellbeing; worrying about family abroad; balancing work/home responsibilities such as parenting/caring for siblings; heightened racism)

• Exploring health and wellbeing as a holistic concept
• Understanding cultural and cross-cultural dimensions of wellness
• Examining epistemological/ontological pluralism and wellness
• Cultural competence/cultural safety as pre-requisites to wellbeing on campus

• Psychological buffering and other coping techniques for campus leaders in fragile (i.e. due to war, conflict, natural disasters) and/or emerging nation-states and/or decolonizing societies
• Promoting action and collaboration locally and globally to support education leaders facing political interference, intimidation, arrest (i.e. global fund for higher education institutions during emergencies)
• Engaging/valuing local communities (i.e. centering local Indigenous priorities) to advance wellness
• Wellness challenges/needs/preferences of and priorities among under-represented, under-resourced, and under-valued populations in higher education

• Unique wellness challenges/needs for campus leaders experiencing chronic illness or disability
• Strategies for developing wellness habits/practices
• Coping techniques of new campus leaders

• Barriers to wellness (i.e. implicit bias; systemic discrimination; emotional labor; imposter syndrome; mental load; compassion fatigue; physical impact of extended stress)

• Emotional health and wellbeing
• Faith as a component of wellness
• Learning mindset/holistic learning
• Vulnerability and leadership
• Cohorts, peers, Elders, and other support systems

• Navigating HR and FMLA policies
• Navigating wellness related benefit policies
• Wellness incentive programs

Submission Procedure

Researchers and practitioners are invited to submit on or before September 24, 2021, a chapter proposal of 1,000 to 2,000 words clearly explaining the mission and concerns of his or her proposed chapter. Authors will be notified by September 25, 2021 about the status of their proposals and sent chapter guidelines.Full chapters are expected to be submitted by October 24, 2021, and all interested authors must consult the guidelines for manuscript submissions at prior to submission. All submitted chapters will be reviewed on a double-blind review basis. Contributors may also be requested to serve as reviewers for this project.

Note: There are no submission or acceptance fees for manuscripts submitted to this book publication, Intersections of Wellness and Leadership in Higher Education. All manuscripts are accepted based on a double-blind peer review editorial process.

All proposals should be submitted through the eEditorial Discovery® online submission manager.


This book is scheduled to be published by IGI Global (formerly Idea Group Inc.), an international academic publisher of the "Information Science Reference" (formerly Idea Group Reference), "Medical Information Science Reference," "Business Science Reference," and "Engineering Science Reference" imprints. IGI Global specializes in publishing reference books, scholarly journals, and electronic databases featuring academic research on a variety of innovative topic areas including, but not limited to, education, social science, medicine and healthcare, business and management, information science and technology, engineering, public administration, library and information science, media and communication studies, and environmental science. For additional information regarding the publisher, please visit This publication is anticipated to be released in 2022.

Important Dates

September 24, 2021: Proposal Submission Deadline
September 25, 2021: Notification of Acceptance
October 24, 2021: Full Chapter Submission
November 16, 2021: Review Results Returned
January 11, 2022: Final Acceptance Notification
January 25, 2022: Final Chapter Submission


Dr. Cynthia J. Alexander
Acadia University, Nova Scotia, Canada


Social Sciences and Humanities; Medical, Healthcare, and Life Sciences; Environmental, Agricultural, and Physical Sciences; Education; Business and Management; Computer Science and Information Technology; Library and Information Science; Media and Communications; Security and Forensics; Government and Law; Science and Engineering
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