African-American Female Administrators at Predominantly White Institutions in Tennessee: Is There a Need for Affirmative Action?

  • Barbara L. Howard Jackson State Univeristy


With recent attention given to affirmative action and race relations, the purpose of this research was to revisit a previous study made in 2001 and determine if there was a need for further attention to African-American female administrators at Predominantly White Institutions (PWIs) in Tennessee based on the number of such in these positions.       

      In 2001, these individuals made up 26% of the similarly classified administrative/professional positions in the Tennessee Board of Regents schools, half of which were located at Tennessee State University which is a Historically Black College or University (HBCU).   A review of data in 2015 show at Middle Tennessee State University, 6.4% of positions classified as executive/administrative/managerial were held by African-American females compared to 35% White females and 51.3% White males.  At the University of Memphis, 18.9% African-American females were in executive/administrative/managerial positions compared to 31% for White females.  At the University of Tennessee, 9.5 % of the executive/administrative/managerial positions were held by African Americans (including both males and females).  Information was not obtainable from Austin Peay and Tennessee Technological Universities.  Data show, at the very least, a decline in the disaggregating of data for African-American female administrators.  Data also show low numbers and percentages of African-American females in executive or managerial roles in year 2015.   

Author Biography

Barbara L. Howard, Jackson State Univeristy
Assistant Professor, Interdisciplinary Studies School of Lifelong Learning College of Education and Human Development Jackson State University


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How to Cite
HOWARD, Barbara L.. African-American Female Administrators at Predominantly White Institutions in Tennessee: Is There a Need for Affirmative Action?. Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Education, [S.l.], v. 5, n. 2, p. 73-77, may 2017. ISSN 2166-2681. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 26 jan. 2021.


African American; Female; Higher Education; Administration