Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



ABSTRACT This qualitative study was born out of the researcher’s interest in better understanding the leadership of private Black colleges and strong desire to identify culturally relevant strategies for reimagining the utility and viability of this cohort of specialized universities. While the literature revealed an exploration of the history, mission and students of HBCUs, there was a dearth of scholarship on the presidents of these institutions. Additionally, the extant literature about HBCUs - treated the public and private HBCUs the same, failing to sufficiently address the uniqueness of both. Finally, the contemporary literature near unanimously suggested that HBCUs must identify points of distinction relevant to contemporary concerns, but failed to address one of the biggest opportunities and most significant threats to its success – globalization. Hence, this study hereby presents one set of strategies for how presidents might internationalize the Black Ivy League: Dillard University, Fisk University, Hampton University, Howard University, Morehouse College, Spelman College and Tuskegee University as a model for other private Black colleges in the United States. As the chief executive officer of the university, the president can be: visionary for the institution’s future, caretaker of its mission and archivist of its history. Given this unique positionality, the role of the president in determining the priorities of the university is unmatched. Utilizing Knight’s (1994) Study of the Internationalization Cycle, this utilizes presents the six step process presidents may employ to create the Ebony Seven, an original concept created in the evolution of this study to describe the model: Dillard University, Fisk University, Hampton University, Howard University, Morehouse College, Spelman College and Tuskegee University could evolved to when each or all commit to becoming a globally competitive university. To achieve the development of this model of internationalization for a private Black globally competitive university, this study explores three general research questions. First, how does a globally competitive Black college look? Second, what is the president’s role in internationalizing a private Black college? Third, what strategies can presidents employ to internationalize a private Black college?



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Committee Chair

Mitchell, Roland

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