Exclusion in Academia: Latina Faculty Struggle Towards Tenure

Book Title

Exclusion in Academia: Latina Faculty Struggle Towards Tenure

The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore the lived experiences of underrepresented tenured Latina faculty in one four-year university in the southeast area of the United States to identify barriers towards achieving tenure. Eight tenured Latina faculty with experience of 7 to 20 or more years in a tenured position provided their perceptions and experiences of the challenges and support they encountered in their pursuit of tenure. A snowball sampling technique produced eight participants from an initial recruitment from an online search. Semi-structured interviews via in-person and audio-video conferences offered rich descriptions of the Latina faculty’s experiences for coding and analysis. The NVivo for Mac software (QSR International, 2015) supported the coding and analysis process of the participant’s responses. Five main themes emerged from the patterns found in the analysis. The five findings included: organizational exclusionary practices against Latina faculty at the university; white male-oriented culture where resources are used to benefit white males; demoralizing micro-aggressions towards Latina faculty from white faculty; the university leadership’s lack of action and accountability to address diversity and inclusion challenges; and the lack of support networks and mentoring to help guide Latina faculty. These findings described an exclusionary academic environment, where the Latina faculty often felt insulted, isolated, and underappreciated with little to no opportunity to advance or contribute equally to the university. This study contributed to the literature by addressing various reasons higher educational institutions need to remove barriers that negatively affect Latina faculty seeking tenure actively.

DOI: 10.14738/bm.052019.1

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