Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Leadership, Research and Technology

First Advisor

Dr. Andrea L. Beach

Second Advisor

Dr. Patricia L. Farrell

Third Advisor

Dr. Donna Talbot


Hispanic leadership, Latinos in higher ed., Latina/a executive leadership, minority leadership, cross-cultural leadership, minority executive experiences


This study will examine the experiences of Latina/o executives (President, Chancellor, Chief of Staff, Executive Vice President, Chief Academic Officer (CAO)/Provost, Central Senior Academic Affairs Officer, Dean of Academic College, Senior Administrative Officer, Senior External Affairs Officer and Chief Enrollment Management Officer, or any administrator with Vice President in their title) in higher education. Throughout the United States there are very few Latina/o executives at either community colleges or four-year universities. Of those Latina/o executives, most serve at community colleges instead of four-year universities. Those Latinos who have served in executive positions have acquired a wealth of knowledge through their experiences in higher education. It is critically important to understand how these Latinos describe their experiences in hopes of providing insight to those who aspire to lead in higher education.

The primary purpose of this study is to highlight the stories of these leaders in order to provide an accurate description of their experiences. The key concepts within the study that will be addressed are: 1) the changing demographics and the need for Hispanic/Latino executives in higher education; 2) the impact of ethnicity on decision making; 3) the experiences leading within a predominantly White institution (PWI) versus other institutions; and 4) the impact Hispanic/Latino executives within PWIs. In addition, this study seeks to add to the limited literature on Hispanic leadership within higher education.

As indicated in the literature, Latino representation within leadership positions in higher education is dismal. This study will be qualitative in nature and I plan to utilize indepth personal phenomenological interviews with 15 Latino leaders. I plan to interview these leaders at four-year doctoral degree-granting universities in the United States.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access