The Chair will sit within the Centre for the Study of Compassion, University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) new initiative. The new Centre will support interdisciplinary research focused on compassion, mentoring and building community resilience.
The launch will occur on Wednesday, 17 October 2018 when Professor Pietroni will deliver the Elizabeth Bryan Annual Memorial Lecture “What does a Compassionate University look like?”.
Director of the Elizabeth Bryan Foundation Trust, Professor Pietroni’s career has spanned the NHS and academia. Professor Pietroni is also Director of the Darwin Centre Trust CIO, which supports the Darwin International Institute for the Study of Compassion (DIISC) DIISC has built up an international network of affiliated institutions that have committed to hosting graduate research students to explore some aspect of compassion in and across a wide range of disciplines. The Centre for the Study of Compassion will house the new UK hub office for DIISC.
The Centre for the Study of Compassion will focus initially on providing supervision and support for new PhD students, developing interdisciplinary research projects with colleagues across the university and beyond, and working to embed UCLan’s ambition to be a compassionate university, enriching the daily lives of students and staff alike.
As Professor Pietroni notes, “I have had the good fortune to be appointed as the first occupant of the Elizabeth Bryan Chair for the study of Compassion. It is the final post I shall hold at the end of a long academic career. It will also be the most challenging – we have recognised the necessity of helping to nurture a generation of compassionate leaders.”
“UCLan has taken the lead in establishing the first interdisciplinary Centre for the Study of Compassion in the UK. The centre will host DIISC’s Darwin Scholarship programme and will work across UCLan to help co-ordinate collaborative activities – including research, mentoring and teaching – pertaining to the study of compassion in the broadest sense,” says Professor Pietroni.
The launch of the centre is also inspired by UCLan’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Mike Thomas’ longstanding focus on compassion. His own research and teaching on compassionate leadership and management emphasises stewardship, values and resilience. Since becoming VC in 2014, Professor Thomas has worked to position compassionate values and behaviours at the heart of UCLan’s mission and values.
“The University of Central Lancashire is excited to be a partner in the launch of the Centre for the Study of Compassion and is committed to its future development. Compassion is a core value in our Mission and its practical application both in our daily lives and in our support for our students and staff,” he says. “We view the work of the Centre as adding an important element to the activities within the University, our local communities and further studies within the field of compassion.”
Professor Thomas delivered the 2017 EBFT memorial lecture, ‘Kindness and Compassion – Challenges in Leadership Roles’. This year’s memorial lecture will be presented by Professor Pietroni on the theme “What does a Compassionate University look like?”.