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Dr. Román Liera Guest Presenter for College Futures Foundation

Whiteness Rules: Racial Exclusion in Becoming an American College President

Posted in: College News and Events

Dr. Roman Liera 2022

Dr. Román Liera, Assistant Professor in Educational Leadership, was a guest presenter for the College Futures Foundation’s webinar and report launch, entitled: “Whiteness Rules: Racial Exclusion in Becoming an American College President.”

On October 31, College Futures Foundation presented a new research report and solutions toolkit about racial exclusion and bias in the search for and selection of college presidents.

While the majority of students in California’s public higher education system are Latinx, Black, and Asian American and Pacific Islander, the racial-ethnic, and gender makeup of the presidents of these colleges and universities is much the same today as in the 1970s: almost exclusively white and male. Why has so little changed? Why does it matter? New research commissioned by College Futures Foundation and conducted by Bensimon & Associates uncovers answers and solutions.

The search processes for presidents and other higher education leaders are fraught with racial bias, but steps can and should be taken to ensure that diverse, equity-minded leaders can succeed in higher education, enacting policies and practices and setting campus climates that benefit students, and close equity gaps.

Dr. Liera anchors his scholarship on a theoretical understanding of university and college campuses as racialized organizations with cultures and structures constraining administrators and faculty efforts to advance racial equity. His current research projects focus on understanding how racism operates in doctoral student socialization, the academic job market, faculty hiring, reappointment, tenure and promotion, and presidential hiring.