Term of Award

Fall 2012

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Education Administration (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development

Committee Chair

Brenda Marina

Committee Member 1

Hsiu-Lien Lu

Committee Member 2

Marian Tabi


he purpose of this basic qualitative study was to examine the lived experiences of African American women who have obtained senior leadership positions in Predominantly White Higher Education Institutions. Data were collected through open-ended, phenomenological-oriented interviews with 12 African American women holding senior level positions in both academic and student affairs in the north and southeast parts of the United States. This study focused on the perceived institutional barriers that have contributed to the under-representation of African American women in higher education senior administration and strategies that were used to overcome perceived barriers. Critical Race Theory was used as a lens to explore the perceived barriers and experiences of African American women in academe. The qualitative data from this study yielded the concepts of leadership preparation, perception of race and gender, institutional challenges, and personal strategies for success. Ultimately, this study will further discussions regarding how higher education institutions can be more proactive in preparing and promoting qualified African American women in senior administrative positions.

Research Data and Supplementary Material