Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Leadership Research & Counseling

Document Type



Deficiencies in economic resources and unwelcoming practices toward diversity represent two issues facing current American higher education institutions. Budget deficits have plagued higher education across America, and especially here in Louisiana. As a result, higher education institutions in Louisiana have become, and continue to be, targets for state funding cuts, with certain HBCUs, like Southern University, suffering the brunt of the cuts because of decades of inadequate funding.

Along with revenue shortfalls, Louisiana institutions and others across America are seeing demands to strategize diversity efforts. As most institutions follow federal guidelines to diversify the campus, some are facing challenges because they tolerate diversity but do not necessarily accept it. In recent years, just like in years past, students and other constituents of higher education institutions have protested injustices where minority students were discriminated against. Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are facing diversity issues also, but in a somewhat different way.

HBCUs, such as Southern University and Agricultural & Mechanical College (Southern University), are facing diversity challenges that question their very existence. Since their inception, HBCUs have seen injustices, financial inequalities, and now post-desegregation criticism as to why they still exist when Black students can attend Predominately White Universities. Although they were not formed in segregation, but rather because of it, HBCUs have continued to show their significance. This body of research takes residence at one particular HBCU, Southern University and Agricultural & Mechanical College. It gives a narrative focused on methods a transformational leader uses to engage economic and diversity issues that the university faces. This research also looks for implications of community culture on the campus.



Committee Chair

Mitchell, Roland