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Diverse Issues : Experiences and Challenges of Minority Administrators and Faculty Members . Presented by Tonya N. Saddler & Kimberly LaBoone, Ph.D. Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University at the Association of American Colleges & Universities

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Diverse issues experiences and challenges of minority administrators and faculty members

Diverse Issues: Experiences and Challenges of Minority Administrators and Faculty Members

Presented by

Tonya N. Saddler & Kimberly LaBoone, Ph.D.

Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University

at the

Association of American Colleges & Universities

Diversity & Learning: A Defining Moment Network for Academic Renewal Conference

Philadelphia, PA

October 19-21, 2006


Presentation outline
Presentation Outline

  • Participatory Exercise-Satisfaction Indicators

  • Review of Literature

  • “Real Voices”-Experiences of Minority Female Faculty and Administrators

  • Overarching Themes

  • Implications for Diversity Initiatives


Overview of literature major themes in literature today about minority administrators and faculty
Overview of LiteratureMajor themes in literature today about Minority administrators and faculty

  • Satisfaction

    • Intrinsic rewards (Hirt, 2006; Lindholm, 2003)

    • Extrinsic rewards

  • Service (Cooper & Steven, 1996; Tierney & Bensimon, 2002; Lucus, 2004)

    • Overload

    • Socialization

    • Contribution to academic and surround community

    • Not rewarded

  • Cultural of Academic Community (Turner & Myers, 2002; Thomas & Hollenhead, 2001; Cooper, Ortiz, Benham, & Scherr, 2002)

    • Unwelcoming/non-supportive/non-collegial

    • Socially isolating

  • Tenure (Tierney, 2002; AAC&U, 2002)

    • Ambiguity

  • Teaching (Antonio, 2002; Menges & Exum, 1983)

    • Heavy loads

    • More students engagement


Real voices experiences and challenges of minority administrators and faculty members
“Real Voices”Experiences and Challenges of Minority Administrators and Faculty Members

  • Classroom Challenges

    “I read from one of my student’s papers the longstanding belief that Blacks are inferior to Whites. This was a shocking experience for me, especially given the fact that I was in an institution of higher learning. I reminded the student that she should substantiate her work with refereed articles and other respectful works, but the fact remains that racism is deeply rooted in the hearts of many who are mis-educated and trained to think about people and issues in a certain way. Educators like me are the tools for social change and the debunking of misperceptions, mechanisms who omit mis-education, and instruments of reconstructed knowledge.” (Katherine)


Real voices
“Real Voices”

  • Approach to Teaching

    “Students valued what I was doing, but many colleagues did not. For example, I had my students develop a [long term] plan. The length of this activity took the first two weeks to complete. I chose to cover this because I felt the students needed a [long term] plan. The length of this activity was not understood by my department head. According to the department, I needed to cover more chapters.” (Sandra)


Real voices1
“Real Voices”

  • Service Overload

    “African American students choose to work with me because I am the only Black faculty in the department. I want them to have the best experience. I also recognize that everyone is not competent in diversity issues. My overload is due to the need to give students a good professional experience.” (Deloris)


Real voices2
“Real Voices”

  • Experiences of racism and discrimination

    “Wow, you really write well.” He assumed my subjects and verbs would not agree. His comment threw me off. They think you don’t know as much as they do, when you do know more, they get annoyed. A lot of people have never been out of the ivory tower-a lily White environment. They have no idea of what others are like. They make inappropriate comments that are racial and they don’t realize it. This lets you know you are dealing with ignorance caused by isolation.” (Deloris)

    “There was an assumption that I was an affirmative action hire here around campus. A statement made to me in a meeting implied that I was…”We need to be careful to hire qualified people. You had it a lot easier than other people.” (Ann)


Real voices3
“Real Voices”

  • Ambiguity & Poor Planning in Tenure Process

    “There is poor planning for tenure and promotion. Few administrators are excellent human resource professionals, mentors, or directors of the success of others. The expected outcomes for junior faculty need to be more reasonable, strength-oriented, and system oriented. Everyone contributes something different to the academy or department. People need to recognize how to use those strengths, market the accomplishments of their faculty and department, and celebrate the unique contributions of scholarship, instruction, and service.” (Katherine)


Real voices4
“Real Voices”

  • “Diversity” challenges

    “Diversity in Faculty”

    “We don’t have enough of us, to be mentored by someone in our research area. White faculty have the luxury of having someone just like them.

    Universities need to keep pushing for diverse faculty. We have to be bicultural, but they don’t have to be. That is not right.” (Deloris)

    Dr. Kimberly LaBoone speaks


Overarching themes
Overarching Themes

  • Intrinsic rewards are most meaningful for both minority administrators and faculty members.

    • Meaningful work

    • Positive work environment

    • Good relationships with co-workers

    • Work valued by co-workers/supervisors

  • Extrinsic Rewards, while important to both administrators and faculty, do not out weigh other factors contributing to job satisfaction.

    • Benefits

    • Salary

    • Leave Time


Implications for future research practice
Implications for Future Research & Practice

  • There is a critical need for continued research on issues directly applicable to minority administrators and faculty members.

  • Provosts, Academic Deans, and Promotion and Tenure committees

    • Should make conscious efforts to improve the chilly climate that sustains racism and discrimination.

    • Should be aware of institutional and individual biases that exist that may hinder minority administrator’s and faculty’s opportunities for career advancement and satisfaction.

    • Opportunities sought that would assimilate this population into the academic community & social systems of the institutions.

    • Have to accommodate and deal with a multicultural society


Implications for future research practice cont d
Implications for Future Research & Practice (cont’d)

  • There is a need for institutions to implement practices for understanding cultural diversity of research interests and diverse experiences.

  • Establishment of policies and procedures that reduce biases against women and minorities



Contact information
Contact Information:

Tonya N. Saddler

Doctoral Student

Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State Univ. (Virginia Tech)

Educational Leadership & Policy Studies

Program-Higher Education

 Blacksburg, VA  24061

[email protected]

Kimberly LaBoone, Ph.D.

Assistant Director, College Transition Programs

Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State Univ. (Virginia Tech)

Center for Academic Enrichment & Excellence

110 Femoyer Hall (0276)

Blacksburg, VA 24061

(540) 231- 5499 office

(540) 231-2618 fax

[email protected]


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