The recruitment and retention of African American faculty in predominantly white faith-based colleges and universities

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Beverly, Aleza Davette Cannon
McElhinney, James H.
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Thesis (D. Ed.)
Department of Educational Studies
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The purpose of this study was to understand some of the lived experiences of seven African American faculty members in predominantly white faith-based institutions and to draw on these experiences to provide insight into how recruitment and retention efforts can increase African American presence. Information was gathered to answer the following questions: 1) Who are these African American individuals and why have they chosen to serve in faculty positions at predominantly white faith-based institutions? 2) What are their experiences, perceptions, and recommendations in regards to the recruitment and retention of African American faculty members at predominantly white faith-based institutions?A phenomenological approach and multiple semi-structured interviews were used to understand the stories of the seven participants. Individual narratives were written to share each African American voice. The stories were further analyzed as a group to uncover the following five themes:1. God's Plan and Purpose - Relationships with God call and sustain African American faculty members.2. God's Blessings - Relationships with students provide joy in times of struggle.3. God's Grace - Relationships with colleagues provide support.4. God's Challenge - Building diverse relationships requires personal and institutional commitment.5. God's Connections - Connections and relationships with external and internal sources are needed to increase recruitment.Faculty recommendations were categorized as following (listed Appendix D):1. Demonstrate institutional commitment to faculty diversity by creating a Statement of Diversity Commitment.2. Include minority resources in all recruitment activities.3. Build relationships with African American students that encourage them to return after further studies.4. Use African American faculty and staff as resources to attract qualified African American faculty.5. Convey your institution's commitment to diversity in application materials and interviews.6. Use challenges (location, finances, perceptions of Christian institutions, etc.) as obstacles that will be overcome, not used as excuses.7. Use "the call" and "God's will" as an additional university attraction. 8. Find and hire the best African Americans.9. Welcome African American families and help them in their transition. 10 Address tenure issues in ways that capitalize the strengths of African American faculty and scholars.11. Go to God about faculty diversity.