This work begins by examining the evolution of increased racial diversity in our student populations in comparison to the disproportionate rate of racial diversity of faculty and staff across institutions of higher education within the United States. This specific research focuses on recruitment and retention through identifying key issues and concerns from faculty and staff of color and their experiences working within community colleges in the Pacific Northwest (Oregon & Washington). The research questions, “How does administrative leadership at community colleges within the Pacific Northwest recruit and retain faculty and staff of color?” and “What factors contribute to increased recruitment and retention as well as the loss of faculty and staff of color?” are addressed through three interconnected studies: (1) a phenomenological qualitative study based on interview data; (2) a combined descriptive and correlative quantitative study examining archival data from climate surveys and institutional effectiveness data; and (3) a Participatory Narrative Inquiry (PNI) into 1-2 participants’ personal stories. The results will likely show themes and patterns of faculty and staff of color’s experiences that negatively impact recruitment and retention. Leadership within higher education will benefit from this research to improve racial diversity within their institutions, which in return benefits the success of students of color (Letcher, 2013; Levin, Haberler, & Jackson-Boothby, 2014; Nixon, 2009).
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