AbstractsEducation Research & Administration

The Rising of Black Women in Academic Leadership Positions in USA| Lived Experiences of Black Female Faculty

by Fredah Mainah

Institution: The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
Year: 2016
Keywords: Higher education administration; Womens studies; Management
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2098110
Full text PDF: http://pqdtopen.proquest.com/#viewpdf?dispub=10105986


This phenomenological feminist study aimed to describe the lived experiences of Black female faculty in leadership positions in higher education. Black female academic leaders find it challenging to celebrate their individual leader development, work effort and success independent of historical marginalization, Affirmative Action, stereotypes, and tokenism among other stigmas. The group of faculty that was interviewed consisted of two deans and one associate dean, two department chairs who were also full professors, four full professors, five associate professors, two assistant professors, two faculty specialists, and two long serving adjunct professors. The group responses were used as the data that was then coded and emerging patterns were categorized into themes. In response to the research questions and from the findings, using the recurrent themes of challenges, gender and racism, success, mentoring and coping strategies, three conclusions were drawn: exclusion and discounting cause stress levels to rise and also contribute to lowered self-confidence and increased self-doubt; in the long term, the definition of success evolves and becomes less about academic expectations and more about authenticity and personal values; and having a mentor in higher education contributes to better chances of being appointed to leadership positions. Recommendations to specific departments include rewarding and recognizing as part of faculty evaluation the extra service Black female faculty add to their heavy workloads as they serve and mentor Black and minority students.