Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Leadership and Human Resource Development

Document Type



At a large, research-intensive, predominantly White university, in this qualitative case study, Black women faculty members’ experiences with and perceptions of institutionally sponsored faculty development activities in relation to career advancement was explored. The career advancement of faculty members from underrepresented and minoritized populations—particularly Black women—is ultimately impacted by the racialized and gendered disparities among tenure-track and tenured professors in research, service, and teaching. Unique to this study is the exploration of how Black women faculty members experience the human resource development practice of faculty development while also gathering information from the institutional leaders who oversee and guide institutionally sponsored faculty development. The findings were based on the in-depth interviews with tenured and tenure-track Black women, a focus group comprised of Black women faculty members, and interviews of institutional leaders with responsibility in faculty development or diversity programming. Three broad themes related to the Black women faculty members’ experiences and institutional leaders’ perspectives were revealed: a) Flaws and problems with institutionally sponsored faculty development b) Unsupportive climate and culture, and c) Heavy reliance on mentoring. Further, embedded in these themes were the experiences of gendered and racial stereotypes and inequities shaping experiences and perceptions. The results of this study suggested institutional changes to make institutionally sponsored faculty development programs and activities accessible to faculty, provide additional funding to support Black women’s career advancement, create or reinforce accountability systems for Deans and department heads, and diversify those who influence institutionally sponsored programming and activities.



Committee Chair

Petra A. Robinson