Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Leadership, Research and Counseling

Document Type



The landmark Supreme Court Decision of Brown v. the Board of Education in 1954 struck down the policy of separate but equal and set a legal precedent that racial discrimination in public education violates the United States constitution. Later the 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibited colleges and universities from discriminating based upon age, sex, race, or religion. The Civil Rights Act strengthened the enforcement capabilities of the Office of Civil Rights in ensuring desegregation. These legislative and judicial efforts have engaged higher education and state officials in often-controversial attempts to desegregate systems and institutions of higher education. Because colleges and universities predominately failed to comply with court decisions and judicial outcomes, in 1971 the NAACP Legal Defense Fund filed suit against the Office of Civil Rights for failing to enforce Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Adams v. Richardson, 1973). Since 1971, 19 states have been struggling to comply with legislative and judicial requirements to desegregate. The purpose of this study was to longitudinally analyze the results of desegregation efforts at public colleges and universities in states that formerly operated dual systems of higher education. The progress, rate of change, and pattern of desegregation were quantifiably measured using a segregation index and analyzed using a repeated measure analysis of variance, pooled cross-sectional time-series model, and Split-Plot Analysis of Variance. The results of the study indicate that Adams states made initial progress in desegregating between 1980 and 1990, but over the last 10 to 15 years, the Adams states have, overall, begun to re-segregate. The results of this study have implications for policy makers in setting state and institutional policies and allocating resources. The data provides policymakers the ability to benchmark and understand the historical implications of policies implemented during the early desegregation efforts. Policy makers, to include legislators, state executives, institutional administrators, and governing boards have the ability to influence the direction and priorities of desegregating higher education.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Becky Ropers-Huilman



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Education Commons