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Date of Award

Spring 5-17-2019

Author Requested Restriction

Open Access (no restriction)

Work Type

Dissertation in Practice

Degree Name

Doctor of Educational Leadership (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Ginger MacDonald

Second Advisor

Dr. Lawrence Knopp

Third Advisor

Dr. Yukari Amos


The purpose of this study was to understand how campus racial climate at a historically White public university in the Pacific Northwest of the United States is perceived by faculty and staff. Two theoretical frameworks are used in this study; first, that of critical race theory’s notion of interest-convergence and racial capitalism, and second, DiAngelo’s (2018) tenet of white fragility. A modified version of Hurtado, Milem, Clayton-Pedersen, and Alma’s (1998) multidimensional framework was used to guide the study to include demographics of the university as well as historical, structural, and psychological descriptions. A mixed method study was conducted using institutional data and a faculty and staff survey on perceived campus climate. The survey results revealed that there are significant differences in the way that campus racial climate is perceived according to race. While faculty and staff of color perceive racism and exclusion, some White faculty and staff perceive the university’s commitment to racial diversity with anger and frustration. While there have been advances in the way in which this university’s leadership has encouraged an improved racial climate, most, if not all of these advances, can be attributed to interest convergence and racial capitalism. For true sustainable change, the pervasiveness of White fragility and racial innocence among the ranks of the university’s White faculty and staff must first be addressed.