Transforming The Academy: Black Women Leaders At Predominantly White Institutions In The South

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jana Walser-Smith (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Brandy Bryson

Abstract: The presence of Black women senior-level leaders in higher education is minimal and their presence in leadership positions at Predominantly White Institutions (PWIs) is abysmal. When and where Black women hold these leadership positions, little is known about their experiences. Consequently, this study centers the lived experiences of seven Black women higher education leaders at PWIs in the U.S. South. Through the intersecting lens using Critical Race Theory and Black Feminist Thought, this qualitative, critical event narrative study examined (1) how race, gender, and culture influenced Black women’s journeys toward obtaining a senior leadership position, (2) the leadership experiences of these leaders, (3) the challenges, barriers, and experiences that have confronted them, and (4) the strategies they have employed when confronting these challenges. This study also underscores the importance of exploring Black women’s perceptions of their leadership experiences within PWIs. These findings have implications for positive change by increasing awareness among executive leaders in the academy regarding racial and gender inequalities. This awareness has the propensity to decrease workplace disparities for Black administrators and to foster more conducive environments to promote more Black women into senior-level leadership positions.

Additional Information

Walser-Smith, J. (2019). Transforming The Academy: Black Women Leaders At Predominantly White Institutions In The South. Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2019
Black Women Senior-Level Leaders at Predominantly White Institutions, Critical Event Narrative, Intersectionality, Black Feminist Thought, Critical Race Theory

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