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HBCU Presidents and their Racially Conscious Approaches to Diversifying STEM

Ebony O. McGee , Lynette Parker , Orlando L. Taylor , Kelly Mack , Margaret Kanipes


Abstract:

HBCUs have outpaced all other institutions of higher education in graduating Black students who are empowered to pursue graduate programs and contribute to the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) ecosystem. These successes are due, in part, to Black presidents who are at the helm of these institutions. This study examined the practices of thirteen Black HBCU presidents or senior administrators. The authors interviewed these leaders and relied upon Gallos and Bolman’s four frameworks to explore university presidents’ decision-making to understand the skillsets and values that enabled them to create educational environments where Black STEM students thrived. These HBCU presidents utilize multiple leadership frames concurrently, while operating under a race-conscious approach to understand, identify, and counter the structures of systemic racism.


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