School of Education


Doctor of Philosophy in Education (PhD)


Floralba Arbelo Marrero


Higher education leadership, Black male leadership, leadership, diversity and leadership, Black male leadership at Predominately White Institutions




This transcendental phenomenological study examined the lived experiences of non-faculty Black male administrators and leadership advancement at predominantly White institutions (PWI) in Virginia. A transcendental phenomenological approach was used to address the central research question of what the leadership advancement experiences of non-faculty Black male administrators at predominately White institutions in Virginia. Critical race theory as it relates to education was used as the theoretical framework to guide the study. Purposeful and snowball sampling was used to select non-faculty Black male administrators from predominantly White institutions (PWI). Data collected through questionnaires, interviews, and focus groups revealed five major themes: cultural taxation, intersectionality, and understanding of Black culture, self-preservation, and cronyism. The data was analyzed using established phenomenological investigation methods of bracketing, horizontalization, clustering into themes, textural descriptions, and textural-structural synthesis (Moustakas, 1994). The study found that Black non-faculty male administrators at PWI leadership advancement was impacted by perceptions associated with gender and race, the history of education in the southern United States, inequity within systems created by White majority, and the lack of mentorship available. These factors create a disparity in leadership advancement for Blacks in higher education compared to their White counterparts.

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