Career paths to the presidency of private black colleges in Texas as perceived by present and past occupants of the office.
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Henry, Clifton W.
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The state of Texas has five historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) that remain operational. Such schools have numerous factors in common that make them unique among institutions of higher learning and also of special interest to educators and social scientists. This study focused on the presidents who are currently leading or have recently led the five Texas HBCUs. Given the extraordinary challenges posed by these institutions to the presidents, the researcher formed the hypothesis that their career paths would reflect an out-of-the-ordinary preparation in several ways. Data were primarily collected through in-depth interviews with seven participants (five current presidents and two immediate past presidents). The researcher approached all participants with a questionnaire that raised such topics as prior education and professional experience, motives involved in seeking the HBCU presidency, and expectations brought to the position (particularly in regard to religion and race as qualifications). The findings revealed that HBCU presidents did certainly tend to follow presidents of other small private religious institutions in such factors as having more professional experience outside of the academy. The seven participants also differed from the presidents of similar but non-black schools, however, especially in matters related to race and religion.