ECU Educators’ Text Chosen for Superintendent Program

A book co-authored by two East Carolina University education professors has been selected as general leadership text for a UNC program designed to prepare experienced principals for superintendency.

The UNC Center for School Leadership will use “Leading with Emotion” (Scarecrow Press, 2002), co-written by James O. McDowelle and Kermit G. Buckner, in its Leadership Program for Future Superintendents sessions of the Principals’ Executive Program (PEP) in June.

“Of all the arenas in which leaders function, the education environment is one of the most highly emotional,” according to Buckner, who has been a professor in ECU’s College of Education since 1998.

“The effects of dealing with students, parents, employees, school board members, and the general public on a daily basis are considerable. Yet it is a key element that has not just been ignored, but literally banned,” Buckner said.

Emotional intelligence balances out the exclusively rational theories upon which educational leadership has been previously grounded, stated McDowelle, who served as a professor in the College of Education from 1993-2001 before heading to Drexel University in Philadelphia. McDowelle returned to ECU in 2003.

One of the first to incorporate the role of the emotions and emotional intelligence into the study of educational leadership, the book “gives you another view of human nature,” McDowelle said.

“This broadened, holistic view of how to manage your emotions helps you focus and streamline thinking. And if you manage them correctly, you can manage yourself and others more effectively.”

McDowelle adds that besides medicine, schools are the most people-intensive institutions.

The text uses case studies and current events to highlight research in the area of emotional intelligence as it relates to the school environment and offers strategies on how to better work with various constituents.

In addition to the PEP program, the text is also being used by Neumann and Drexel Universities for professional development programs with Philadelphia school administrators.

More information about the book is at

CONTACT: James O. McDowelle, (252) 328-1096 or