Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Leadership, Research and Counseling

Document Type



Using a qualitative approach with Black feminism as a theoretical framework, Your Blues Ain't Like Mine: Exploring the Promotion and Tenure Process of African American Female Professors at Select Research I Universities in the South is a compilation of oral histories from eight female, associate and full professors. The study focused on the promotion and tenure experiences of the participants and examined how day-to-day interactions with colleagues and departmental climate impact the promotion and tenure process. In the study, the participants provide candid, first-person accounts of their experiences, struggles and successes in the pursuit of promotion and tenure. Interviews were conducted with tenured, African American female professors at predominantly white, Research I universities in the South. Interviewees included two full professors and six associate professors. During open-ended semi-structured interviews, participants were asked to talk about their promotion and tenure experiences. Four themes emerged from the research data: struggle, oppression, change and freedom. Evidence is presented of participants' perspectives of how their promotion and tenure experiences relate to each of these four themes. The study highlights the experiences of the participants in order to educate higher education administrators, deans and department heads about the perceptions of African American women on their promotion and tenure process and specifically, the effect that departmental climate has on the process.



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