Date Approved

2012

Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Leadership and Counseling

Committee Member

Martha W. Tack, Ph.D., Chair

Committee Member

Jaclynn Tracy, Ph.D

Committee Member

Yvonne Callaway, Ph.D.

Abstract

Research on experiences of faculty-of-color generally, and on African American women particularly, in religiously-affiliated universities is embryonic. Studying faith-based colleges as a synonymous group is a complex process because of different institutional types (e.g., 2-year, 4-year, and seminary); divergent missions; church affiliations (e.g., Lutheran, Baptist, and Roman Catholic) and Carnegie classifications (Smith & Jackson, 2004). This study’s purpose was to understand how African American women interpret and respond to their formal/informal socialization as faculty members in Jesuit universities. Jesuits have a distinct heritage that influences their institutional mission (Tierney, 1997). Perpetuation of religious tenets and ideals is a primary focus of Jesuit institutional leaders; therefore, faculty members, including those of other faith traditions, are socialized to participate in that prolongation (Schaefer, 2001). This phenomenological inquiry was conducted utilizing the theoretical underpinnings of faculty and organizational socialization (Jablin, 2001; Trowler & Knight, 1999). Semistructured interviews were conducted to examine the lived experiences of 13 African American women faculty members in eight Jesuit-sponsored institutions. Thorough analysis of information gathered led to the identification of 15 themes, two subthemes, and six recommendations for future research. The investigator also provided eight recommendations for practice directed to leaders in Jesuit universities along with five suggestions for African American women or other faculty-of-color considering positions in religiously-affiliated institutions. Finally, the researcher developed three cogent ideas for faculty in educational leadership programs to use in improving higher-education administrative preparation programs. Running head: SOCIALIZATION OF AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMEN FACULTY vii Perhaps the most powerful conclusion was recognition that Jesuit universities have an overt advantage over other types of higher-education institutions in attracting, nurturing, and retaining African American women faculty. The fit for an African American woman at a Jesuit institution is a natural one based on social justice as a core institutional value and on the African American woman’s personal belief in social-justice activism. These faculty members can be carriers of the social-justice mission, satisfied, productive, and welcoming of the challenge to move the mission forward. That said, Jesuit institutions can become diversity models for the academy if the social-justice mission is activated for recruiting, hiring, developing, supporting, and continually supporting African American women and other faculty-of-color.

Comments

Additional Dissertation Committee members: Lynette Findley, Ph.D Patrick Melia, Ph.D.

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