Examining Perceptions of the Underrepresentation of African American Faculty in Higher Education Administration

Examining Perceptions of the Underrepresentation of African American Faculty in Higher Education Administration

Author: 
Arleathia L. Walker
Program of study: 
Ph.D./HEA
Abstract: 
The underrepresentation of African American faculty educators in higher education leads to a deep-rooted dilemma. Years of progressive challenges have led to this faculty population being disinterested in obtaining administration roles in higher education. The purpose of the study involved examining what relationship exists between organizational qualifications and the attitudes held by African American faculty in higher education toward attaining administrative positions. The strength of using quantitative research allows for developing groundwork for philosophical theory in human inquiry. The mathematical tool to analyze the data results required using a 95% confidence interval estimate and a 0.5 significance level. The full study’s survey was distributed to approximately 800 faculty and administrator email addresses in the Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) area. A total of 74 surveys were returned with 51 from respondents selfidentifying as African American. The results revealed only one Spearman rank correlation demonstrated any statistical significance for the study; the effect was small. The research questions were answered by assessing relationships with linear regression and Pearson’s correlation coefficient, thus the null hypothesis of no relationship was retained. Multiple linear regressions were appropriate for assessing relationships between two independent variables and one dependent variable and allows for establishing effect size using R 2 . Subsequently, one limitation of the study involved difficulty in getting African American faculty to participate; reflected by the small sample size, it is possible the failure to reject the null hypotheses was in error and limits the generalizability of the results.
Dedication: 
I would like to bestow condolences upon one of my dear committee member’s Dr. Boatamo Mosupyoe who suffered a loss during the completion of this dissertation proposal. I greatly appreciate your contributions made toward assisting me throughout the duration of writing my dissertation proposal. You were always there when I called upon you to respond to my requests. I will forever be indebted to you, and I pray that God continues to keep you throughout life journeys. On another note, I am inclined to dedicate this proposal to other doctoral candidates struggling through the dissertation process. Keep the faith, and know that you are not alone in this journey. There are others who share your experiences as the finish line draws near. “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Acknowledgements: 
I want to communicate my steadfast appreciation to my entire family, friends, church, and academic leaders who continued to see me through the program. First, my husband Bobby, and daughter Kenya continued to encourage me through all the long days, nights, months, and years that it took for me to finalize my dissertation and complete the program. I love both of you more than words can express. Next, my longsuffering friends wrestled as they humored me through times when I needed an audience to listen attentively to my philosophical thoughts when writing papers, and especially when I thought about throwing in the towel. Consequently, I often wondered would I have done the same if the tables were turned. I probably will have to hear about this for a lifetime. As for my church members, they wiped my tears, cautioned me when I held back tears, and insisted that I give it to Christ. The reason always was supported by the fact that Christ could handle the load because humans are not spirit, but flesh. Every time I obeyed, Christ proved to turn it around. In closing my heartfelt appreciation to all the academic leaders that I called on while going through the doctoral program (Chair, Committee Members, Statistician, Instructors, and more). Silently, there is a spiritual song that comes to mind when I think about Dr. Carman Kelsey-Jenkins and Dr. Cody Arvidson. The title of the song in one word says it all “Grateful.” Dr. Valerie Sherwood, I thank you for your tutelage during several doctoral classes and for staying the course with me through what I would have never imagined possible in my life to accomplish. Last, Dr. Brian Cole who I have had the pleasure of requesting at the last moment due to life journey. There you were accepting and not knowing what you were in for with this distinctive proposal. I want to warn you, “watch it” I will probably send others your way. Truly all of you are the forerunners for the novice learners who aspire to become the next forerunners in our academic community of scholars. Your devoted patience, wisdom, guidance and expertise will never go unnoticed. Here is a quote that finalizes my thoughts. “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” Nelson Mandela