Moving Beyond a Culture of Niceness in Faculty Hiring to Advance Racial Equity

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38 Scopus citations


This study applies cultural historical activity theory to examine the experiences of 17 professors at a religiously affiliated private university who participated in a 10-month, inquiry-based intervention to change their culture around faculty hiring. The findings illustrate that professors who use race-conscious language and tools to interrogate their campus culture’s historical roots with racism rethought their hiring process. In doing so, faculty perceived racial equity work as an action-oriented, organizational effort to use equity-minded language and create a more equitable hiring structure. The study contributes to the literature on organizational change for racial equity by identifying faculty experiences with racism and critical knowledge about the organizational culture mediating faculty learning and agency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1954-1994
Number of pages41
JournalAmerican Educational Research Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2020


  • CHAT
  • faculty
  • organizational culture
  • racial equity


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