Stormy or Sunny?: Exploring Institutional Factors that Influence Campus Racial Climate

Dickerson, Kimalee, Education - Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Williams, Joanna, CU-Leadshp, Fndns & Pol Studies, University of Virginia

The three manuscripts in this dissertation reflect a cohesive approach to exploring contemporary issues of racial climate at predominantly White institutions. The first paper uses educational research to support the legal argument that Black-themed residential programs contribute to, rather than undermine, the educational benefits of diversity. The second paper uses qualitative methods to explore the ways in which faculty and staff diversity allies believe their professional school's history of racial segregation influences present-day racial climate. The third paper uses mixed methods to examine perceptions of institutional commitment to diversity and sense of belonging among students from different racial groups. Together, the three papers contribute significantly to the field by underscoring the complexity of understanding and improving racial climate, shedding light on the multiple ways in which institutional history and practices influence climate, and providing future directions of inquiry.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
campus racial climate
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