Dr. Claire Good on Leadership

Dr. Clarie Good, who is currently serving as EKU’s Interim VP of Student Affairs and Dean of Students, has been working in Student Affairs at Eastern since 2003, serving as the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs until July of 2012. Dr. Good answered our questions about her leadership at the University and shared with us her valuable insights on student leadership and Student Affairs.

What attracted you to a career in Student Affairs?

I saw the impact that university administrators in Student Affairs had on the college experience for students, and wanted to be a part of that effort.

What attracted you to Eastern?

I came from a Research I institution that is a lot like the University of Kentucky.  While there were many educational opportunities for students at that institution there was very little interaction between faculty, staff and students.  The first time I visited EKU I was impressed with the number of student who were “hanging out” after class hours, clearly enjoying a positive campus environment.  When I talked with faculty and staff, the emphasis was on connecting with students, something I really feel is important.

What philosophy guides your leadership as the Interim VP of Student Affairs?

I believe Student Affairs at EKU has developed into an outstanding professional division under previous leadership (Dr. Conneely).  I want to continue his legacy to do all that we can to offer students opportunities to utilize what they learn in the classroom once they are in the “real world”.  The out of classroom experience is as much a part of students’ experience here as what they learn in the classroom.   Without the ability to use that classroom knowledge, students will not be successful.  I hope to find ways to continually improve the EKU experience for our students.  I also want to support our staff as they grow and develop as outstanding professionals who truly care about our students.

What resources would you recommend for a student at Eastern who wanted to develop as a leader?

There are many organizations that offer excellent leadership training and development workshops.  These include NASPA: Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, and ACPA: College Student Educators International.  In addition, there are a number of good books on the market that explore leadership from the aspect of personal identity, and how you use your inner characteristics to lead others.  One such book I would recommend, especially for females who are interested in understanding how to be a good leader is Identity and Leadership:  Informing Our Lives, Informing Our Practice edited by Alicia Fedelina Chavez and Ronni Sanlo.


The University has been using the new motto “You Can Get There From Here.” What role has Student Affairs played in helping student get “there”?

As I said earlier, Student Affairs is all about helping you utilize your education in a positive way as you grow and change over the years you are in college.  Most of us spend our years in college learning in the classroom, but also learning more about ourselves as individuals and as adults.  We no longer fashion ourselves just after our parents, but have new opportunities to learn and grow as we meet and interact with faculty, staff and other students on the campus.  We mature into individuals who have a wide breadth of knowledge and experience.  Professionals in Student Affairs focus on finding opportunities for students to reach new heights in their personal and professional development.

What do you think are the biggest challenges facing young leaders today?

Deciding on a path to follow.  There are so many opportunities for young leaders to lead by examples, and sometimes it is hard to decide on one single path or opportunity.  I would remind anyone who is a new leader that there is never just one “right” path, but experiences along many different paths as you grow and develop.

A lot of the student leaders we have interviewed for this website are pursuing careers in Student Affairs. Do you have any advice to share with them?

Professionals in Student Affairs learn to truly understand student development.  They learn the stages of growth various age groups are experiencing, and the impact of the environment around us.  Student Affairs is all about providing tools to others who want to grow, and then standing back to watch the steps taken by students as they discover the abilities that come along with being an educated person.  If you think you would enjoy leading by example, Student Affairs may be the place for you.

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