In existing literature, leadership frameworks and leadership styles are based on general qualities. At the surface level they represent HBCU leaders, however in order to paint a more nuanced picture of the full HBCU context it is vital to identify culturally specific leadership descriptors. The Center for the Advancement of STEM Leadership (CASL) derived a framework called the soul of leadership that is asset-based, rooted in African American cultural aspirations, and HBCU STEM leader-centered by illuminating the voices of HBCU STEM leaders recognized on their campuses for their success in broadening the participation of students of color in STEM.

The CASL Research team identified the traits, behaviors, practices, and environmental press influencing the STEM achievements of HBCU faculty and students. Below are the six dimensions and definitions that were generated as a result of the research team’s analysis.

Evolving STEM Leadership

HBCU STEM Leaders create environments encouraging leadership at all levels and accountability for broadening participation initiatives.

Advocacy for STEM

STEM Leaders create competitive STEM programs and elevate those programs on their campuses.

Cultural Intentionality

HBCU STEM Leaders demonstrate practices, policies, and environments that are culturally specific to broadening participation and position STEM as a service.

Conscious Leadership

STEM Leaders cultivate mindfulness and establish high expectations for their leadership and systems change.

Identification of STEM Resources

STEM Leaders tend to use the necessary resources for STEM efforts.

Creativity in Leadership

STEM Leaders demonstrate creativity and cultivate creativity.