Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Little is known about how faculty make decisions in the doctoral admissions process or how they conceptualize diversity, equity, and justice in those same processes. As the United States continues to diversify, understanding how students are selected into graduate programs and how faculty understand diversity, equity, and justice is increasingly important to supporting diverse leadership bodies and shaping an inclusive campus cultural context. This qualitative study utilized semi-structured interviews, focus groups, and critical discourse analysis to explore how faculty of color understand diversity, equity, and justice norms, values, and behaviors in the doctoral admissions process in Higher Education and Student Affairs (HESA) doctoral programs in Predominantly White Institutions (PWI) and how professors of color navigate those norms, values, and behaviors with their multiple intersecting identities. Data reveals that faculty of color resist the utilization of standardized measures of success, are attracted to students of color and students aiming to do conduct equity work, and consider diversity at all times in the admissions process. Faculty also feel constrained in their ability to fully engage in the admissions process due to marginalization of their identities and their tenure status. Faculty also understand the values of their university through (in)actions taken when critical community incidences occur resulting in shifting recruitment tactics for diverse students and find tensions in conflating international students of color with domestic students of color particularly as it pertains to supporting international students on campus and remedying historical disparities in college access for domestic people of color although they support the admission of both types of students.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.