Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Florence A. Hamrick


The primary purpose of this investigation was to explore the internal and external factors that contributed to the successful negotiation of promotion and tenure for six African American female faculty members at a selected predominantly White Doctoral Extensive Institution. The data were gathered over the course of one year and were initiated after a pilot study was conducted on how first-generation African American graduate students navigated through graduate school. Factors including individual persistence and aspiration as well as the need for institutional support continued to emerge particularly for the respondents who decided to pursue the life of academics. The protocol questions were developed for the group of tenured African American faculty members at the associate and full professor rank levels. Thus, to further investigate the internal and external factors that affected and/or contributed to the promotion and tenure process was explored through a qualitatively based study. The study's focus included semi-structured and follow-up interviews. Additionally, any supplemental documents related to the respondents' promotion and tenure process were reviewed for commonalties and/or unique characteristics. Survey results found that successfully navigating the promotion and tenure process for African American women depend not only on research, teaching, and service but other factors including, graduate school preparation, mentoring, internal and external motivation, self-identity, spirituality, and personal commitment to serving as change agents for campus equality. The respondents also made a number of recommendations that were blueprints for success in the academy. An overview of the recommendations for future practice and research included the need to: (1) conduct more qualitative studies, (2) frame studies using critical theoretical and race perspectives, (3) create and/or enhance effective mentoring relationships between senior and junior faculty, and (4) the need for junior faculty to understand that the primary responsibility of negotiating promotion and tenure is one's choice and personal commitment.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Lynette Letricia Danley



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

304 pages