Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Linda Swanson


Consolidations have become a market strategy for both public and private higher education institutions as a way of rebranding to address financial challenges and to remain competitive. Challenges arise when faculty and staff members are expected to merge the racial climates of a non-historically black college and university (NHBCU) and a historically black college and university (HBCU). The purpose of this study was to gain a better understanding of issues related to inclusion, campus interactions, and diverse campus groups following the consolidation. The racial campus climate framework by Hurtado, Milem, Clayton-Pedersen, and Allen served as the conceptual framework for this basic qualitative study. Interviews with 8 faculty members were conducted to respond to research questions that explored faculty perceptions regarding issues of inclusion, campus interactions, and diverse campus groups of the racial campus climate on the HBCU and NHBCU campuses before and after the consolidation. Transcripts from interviews were coded and analyzed for themes. The findings indicated that prior to the consolidation, participants from both institutions perceived interactions and climate among faculty to be positive. However, after the consolidation, participants perceived a climate of hostility, mistrust, and racial bias among faculty. A professional development project was designed to provide stakeholders with strategies to begin conversations about examining their cultural lenses and expanding their world views. The implications for positive social change include providing leaders and faculty with an awareness of the negative racial interactions among faculty and strategies to use as a starting point to assist with overcoming biases and cultivating an inclusive environment for all faculty.