Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


School of Education

Document Type



Currently, 45% of all college students are classified as racial/ethnic minorities, while 56% of college students are female (NCES, 2018a). By 2030, nearly half of the estimated United States population will be composed of racial/ethnic minorities (Cortes, 1991). With this exponential growth of minorities attending institutions of higher education, there is the assumption that students have begun to engage in and promote diversity and inclusion. However, in 2008, Boysen and Vogel (2009) found that 40% of teachers and 50% of students encountered implicit or explicit bias while in college. In 2017, within four months, over 330 reported biased incidents occurred on collegiate campuses (Guha 2017). Konrath, O’Brien, and Hsing (2011) found that there has been a significant decline in student empathy towards others, including friends, and Twenge (2008) found that narcissism is on a rise with high levels of college students equating their belief of self with that of a celebrity. It is these trends that validate the lack of diversity engagement by students within the institution of higher education, which is failing to adequately prepare current students to become future pluralistic leaders in a democratic society.

Utilizing an explanatory sequential mixed method design, this research will answer if demographics and faculty epistemology influence faculty desire to engage diversity in their academic curriculum; and from a white male faculty in the STEM field’s perspective what factors motivate diversity engagement and how do STEM white male faculty engage diversity in their undergraduate academic curriculum?

The results will be provided to assist institutions of higher education to develop faculty to integrate diversity and inclusive teaching into their curriculum. With 71% of faculty nationwide identifying as white, if institutions are to engage all our students, then institutions must successfully engage our majority educators (NCES, 2017). If higher education is able to engage faculty in the inclusion of diversity in their academic curriculum, institutions can begin engaging students in diversity, oppression, and inclusion-based topics to influence student belief and ultimately change institutional culture.



Committee Chair

Arbuthnot, Keena