Date of Award

Fall 12-2-2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

PhD Higher Education Leadership, Management, Policy


Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Robert Kelchen, PhD

Committee Member

Martin Finkelstein, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Marybeth Gasman, Ph.D.


Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Black women faculty, career advancement, Intersectionality, Black Feminist Theory


This study investigated the supports utilized by Black women in their career advancement as faculty members at Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Although there is an abundance of scholarship about the challenges presented to Black women faculty at Predominantly White Institutions, the career advancement of Black women faculty at Historically Black Colleges and Universities has gone largely unstudied. Considering Historically Black Colleges and Universities are where Black women faculty achieve tenure in the highest percentages, this study took a non-deficit perspective and investigated what supports are used by Black women faculty internal to the institution, external to the institution, as well as the institutional cultural factors. The sites of this study were 43 HBCUs with 25% or more of tenured faculty composed of Black women. Faculty rank and discipline were considered when analyzing the electronic survey data. Theoretical frameworks of Black Feminist Theory and Intersectionality were used as lenses to examine the supports used. Some supports include shared governance, administrative disclosure, networks, family, religion, collaboration, mentors, working harder and smarter, and other strategies. This study provides a preliminary step in studying what supports Black women find most useful in navigating their faculty careers.