Date of Award


Access Restriction


Degree Name

Doctorate in Education



School or College

School of Education

First Advisor

Antonia Darder

Second Advisor

William Parham

Third Advisor

Kofi Lomotey


Students on college and university campuses across the United States are becoming more racially diverse. However, leadership on college campuses is not trending toward more diversity, particularly in higher administrative posts such as the presidency. To better understand this stagnate trend of college president diversity, this critical narrative study examined the lived experiences and insights of six current or former college presidents who identify as Black. The participants in this study are a unique cohort of individuals who have served as presidents/chancellors at institutions where Black students are not the majority ethnic/racial group on campus.

More specifically, this study sought to capture their lived experience as they ascended to the presidency and collected their perspectives on what is needed to dismantle barriers that have prevented the evolution of more diverse leadership. Moreover, their stories offer salient insights and recommendations regarding what needs to be employed to increase Black leadership at higher education institutions. Lastly, the study attempts to offer a playbook for understanding this phenomenon and thus, supporting the formation, recruitment, and hiring of more Black presidents on college campuses in the future.