Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education


Educational Services and Leadership


College of Education


Walpole, MaryBeth

Committee Member 1

Coaxum, James

Committee Member 2

Mills, James T.


Complicit Racism, Diversity, Inclusion, White Faculty


Universities and colleges--Faculty; African Americans


Higher Education


Higher education has become increasingly diverse over the past 100 years. Women and people of color have integrated and, in many cases, assimilated into the academy. However, not all groups have gained access equally. While certain groups, such as women, have experienced measurable growth, African Americans have lagged in their presence within the academy. Representation of Black scholars in the faculty has been constant over a nearly 20-year period. Black faculty comprised 5% of the faculty in 1998 and 6% of the faculty in 2015. Colleges and universities dedicate significant resources to diversity and inclusion. However, there continues to be little progress in increasing the number of African Americans in the professoriate. The advancement of women and the lack of progress for African Americans in the professoriate is the nexus of this study. Specifically, this study examined the role of unrecognized Whiteness in preserving institutional structures that marginalize African American faculty.

This case study was conducted at a regional comprehensive university in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. In addition to an online interview of White faculty, two other institutional assessments were used in this study. Key themes that emerged are Awareness, Diversity in teaching, Gender, and Structure. The study's findings suggest White faculty have varying degrees of awareness of diversity work and a lack of ownership regarding campus diversity.