Social work leadership is valuable to the existence and future of the profession. Equally important is leadership within academia. Leadership in academia is impelled and obligated to the historical leaders, agency organizations, communities, and individuals influenced by the profession to lead, provide vision, and educate tomorrow’s leaders. Mary Richmond and Edward Devine assembled social work education in the 1900's and were pioneers significant in shaping the vision of social work. However, there is a scarcity of empirical research regarding social work leadership within academic settings. More specifically, limited literature is available that discusses the philosophical prisms, perceived realities, and behavior principles in which leaders in social work academia conduct themselves. The aim of this paper is to add to the literature of social work leadership in academia and provide an emotionally intelligent theoretical framework for leadership practice from a rural BSW program director’s perspective.

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