Wellbeing Leadership in Higher Education: A Collective Case Study of Chief Wellness Officers



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This qualitative collective case study examined the research associated with leadership in higher education settings with a focus on developing understanding of wellbeing programs and the Chief Wellness Officer (CWO) role. The study contributes to the understanding of how CWOs in higher education utilize specific skills, behaviors, and strategies to lead wellbeing programs. It presents an overview of wellbeing, the student affairs context, and how CWOs function as senior leaders. A gap was identified for how CWOs lead wellbeing programs in relationship to others. A theoretical framework associated with social constructionism guided the study. The findings from the study enhance the understanding of how CWOs, or those serving with similar titles, facilitate and lead campus wellbeing efforts. In particular, information from the interviews contributes to the scholarship surrounding wellbeing programs on college campuses. The improved understanding illuminates leadership qualities that support program delivery. Suggestions for future wellbeing leadership practice and research are offered.



Wellbeing, Chief Wellness Officer, leadership, student affairs, resilience, Health Promotion, collaboration