The blueprint: creating a sense of community among African American faculty & staff at Western Carolina University

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Tacquice Wiggan Davis (Creator)
Ricardo Nazario-Colón (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site:
Kofi Lomotey

Abstract: There has been extensive research on employee retention over the past 50 years, including new managerial methodologies around employee retention. Researchers and practitioners must evaluate the lack of focus given to African American faculty and staff retention in higher education. Nationally, African American faculty and staff retention data are not readily available. Few studies discuss the issue, and the approach is one that examines causes and offers remedies. Similarly, the North Carolina University System office has not started to evaluate their data to generate population-specific reports. This lack of analysis poses a problem when one considers that nearly 40,000 African American faculty were employed at colleges and universities across America in 2017. Data are difficult to obtain and disaggregate when examining the number of African Americans professionals in non-faculty roles at colleges and universities. Only 13% of postsecondary non-faculty are African American. For this intervention, we critically reviewed research to offer a firm foundation and clear perspective to provide us with direction. The critical themes that emerged out of the research over the past two decades include: (1) the interrelation between supervisor and employee, (2) motivational factors such as salary and professional development, (3) increased emphasis on recognition and reward programs, and (4) the role of community engagement. We assert these themes inform future areas for intervention and research, and they help us move beyond contemporary stop-gap approaches. With a focus on a sense of community in this proposal, we seek to engage African American faculty and staff with two elements of The McMillan-Chavis Model: Membership and Integration and Fulfillment of Needs. The intervention utilizes the Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycle model to test a change in the way the University approaches employee retention.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2021
African American Faculty, African American Staff, Building Community, Retention, Sense of Belonging, Western Carolina University
Universities and colleges -- Faculty -- African Americans
Universities and colleges -- Professional staff -- African Americans
Employee retention
Belonging (Social psychology)
Western Carolina University

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