Existing studies on HBCU leadership focuses primarily on college presidents, specifically highlighting the pathways and trajectories of former and current presidential leaders and the skills and competencies that successful HBCU presidents should possess or attain in order to provide effective leadership for their institutions. CASL asserts that leadership at HBCUs is not confined to the HBCU presidency but occurs at many levels. As such, research that examines and explores leadership for broadening participation must acknowledge and investigate leaders’ experiences and efforts at diverse levels and contexts, especially leaders in STEM disciplines and those committed to broadening participation in STEM.


Theme I of CASL research focuses on the PEOPLE who act as leaders at HBCUs and their influence on broadening participation. CASL data showcases nearly 50 institutions ranging from research universities and liberal arts colleges to community colleges. More impressively the CASL dataset boasts a heterogeneity of leaders at HBCUs regarding administrative position, professorial rank, leadership style, perspective, and identity.


The research conducted as part of Theme I will address two main research questions:


  1. What has been and is the role of leadership in broadening participation at HBCUs?
  2. In what ways do available theories of leadership adequately reflect HBCU leadership contexts?

The following Research Briefs use data from CASL-Research alongside real world examples of HBCU leaders to address research questions 1 and 2.

View the CASL Research Themes