I am a Professor of Social Work and Dean of the School of Education and Social Work at the University of Dundee.
My Vision of Academic Life
Very early in my academic career I developed a vision of higher education that placed value on high quality professional education and scholarly activities and community and professional engagement. Prior to moving to Scotland I worked for a school of social work in South Florida. I was hired by the new dean as part of his strategic plan to turn a struggling school of social work into a school that excelled in providing quality social work education, scholarly activity and professional engagement. Within five years we were nationally ranked based on our teaching reputation and publication record. A large percentage of the academic staff were engaged in local, national and international professional organisations and taking on leadership roles within the University and wider community. I often refer to this period in my career as my Camelot Years as they were magical. At this point in my career I am feeling a sense of generativity, and I want to provide “Camelot” experiences for the next generation of academics.
My vision and passion is to create, foster and maintain what I call the 3 pillars of “The Good LIfe” in academia – teaching, scholarship and community/professional involvement. Though there can be tensions and difficulties when people and institutions try to reach excellence in these three areas, I know it can be done. In my opinion, to be a member of the academic community means valuing and being involved in all three areas required for the good life in academia. To be a complete academic, one must be good in all three areas and excel in at least one. When done well, the academic atmosphere is energising, intellectually stimulating and transformative for students, staff and the wider community.
My Research and Scholarship
My research and scholarship has focussed primarily on the care of older people in health and social care settings, supporting carers, groupwork practice, and professional social work education. If you are interested if finding out about my publications, they are listed on my staff profile on the my University Web Page.
I can be found on the following social media