Date of Award

5-1-1981

Degree Type

Dissertation

University or Center

Atlanta University (AU)

School

School of Education

Degree Name

Ed.D.

First Advisor

Dr. Stephen Herrmann

Abstract

Statement of the Problem

The purpose of this study was to identify major factors that have had an impact on the status of black women in administrative positions in higher education.

More explicitly, this study was a descriptive analysis of four major factors, educational, sociological, psychological and legal political which were determined to have influenced the professional growth, deve1opment, retention and promotion of black women in top level administrative positions in higher education during the academic years 1969-1979.

Research Population

For the purpose of this study, the researcher identified 250 four-year institutions in forty-eight states that are or have been employers of black women in top level administrative positions. The women either presently hold or have held positions congruent to that of Chancellor, Vice Chancellor, President, or Dean between the academic years 1969-1979. The sample population consisted of thirty-seven black women whose administrative status qualified them to exercise decision-making powers that directly influenced the formulation of policy at the highest administrative level.

Findings

Appointment

1. The black women administrators (40.5 percent) identified education as the most significant factor relative to their appointment; however, psychological factors (30.1 percent) are also significant.

2. The chief administrative officers (47.6 percent) identified education as the most significant factor relative to the appointment of black women to top level administrative positions.

Retention

1. The black women administrators (51.3 percent) identified a combination of psychological factors, maturity, personality, confidence level, and esteem, as significant to their retention. However, 27 percent stated that competence, effectiveness, and performance were also of significance.

2. The chief administrative officers (42.9 percent) identified a combination of competence, effectiveness, and performance as the most significant factors relative to the retention of black women in top level administrative positions. However, 23.8 percent selected psychological factors.

Promotion

1. The black women administrators (53 percent) identified a combination of psychological factors as most significant relative to their promotion; however, 24.3 percent identified competence, effectiveness, and performance as most significant.

2. The chief administrative officers (42.8 percent) stated that a combination of competence, effectiveness, and performance were the most significant factors in the promotion of b1ack.women to administrative positions in higher education.

General Trends for Hiring, Retention and Promotion by Region

1. Seventy-three percent of the women in this study reside in the southern metropolitan area.

2. Sixty-one percent of the respondents are employed in predominately black institutions.

3. Ninety-three percent of these black institutions are private.

Conclusions

1. Educational and psychological factors were perceived by both black women administrators and their supervisors as most significant in the initial appointment of black women administrators.

2. The supervisors of black women saw competence, effectiveness, and performance followed by psychological factors as critical to retention.

3. Black women saw their psychological bearing along with competence, effectiveness, and performance as the most important factors leading to promotion.

4. The supervisors saw competence, effectiveness, and performance, followed by the psychological factors as the most important factors leading to promotion.

5. There is a major concentration of black women administrators employed at predominately black private institutions in southern urban areas.

6. At predominately black institutions, gender was a factor influencing the status of black women administrators. At predominately white institutions, gender and race were factors influencing the status of black women administrators.

Implications

1. The more academic credentials the black woman has, the greater the opportunities for advancement to top level administrative positions.

2. Legal/Political mandates are crucial to the placement, retention and promotion of representative numbers of black women in administrative positions in higher education.

3. Professional advancement opportunities for black women administrators are greater at predominately black institutions.

4. Less pronounced discriminatory policies at predominately black institutions in the south have led to the establishment of a cadre of black women administrators in this region.

Recommendations

1. Realistic educational and career counseling should be developed for young black women so that managerial positions in higher education become an option.

2. Quality internship experiences should be developed for black women who are seeking top level administrative positions.

3. Educators and administrators should test laws and regulations which prohibit discrimination in employment, retention, and promotion based on sex and race. Vigorous effort should be exerted to assure civil rights under Title IX and the affirmative action programs.

4. Additional policies, realistic and viable programs, and strategies need to be developed to promote equity and equality for prospective black women administrators in higher education.

5. Programs should be designed to address the political climate influencing policy that effect the hiring, retention, and promotion of black women.

6. Black women should create a data base and a program of action for themselves so they can realistically support other black women in their professional endeavors.

7. A scientific and reliable data base should be established that could serve as a clearinghouse for the exchange and dissemination of information regarding the appointment, retention, and promotion of black women in the academic sector.

Included in

Education Commons

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