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The nature of student affairs work at historically black colleges and universities
Hirt, J. B.
Strayhorn, T. L.
Amelink, C. T.
Bennett, B. R.
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This qualitative study examined the nature of work for 70 administrators (67% female, 33 male) who provide services to students at historically Black colleges and universities. Data were collected by administering the National Professional Life Survey (NPLS) that asked respondents about their work, relationships with others on campus, and the rewards they valued in their work. Survey data were supplemented through in-depth one-on-one and group interviews. The nature of work was defined by three dimensions: pace of work, how work gets done, and work environment. Key findings reveal that work for these professionals is challenging, highly stressful, and that enacting change on campus takes time. Perhaps most interesting, there is a fairly entrenched sense of racial uplift among HBCU administrators. The opportunity to encourage success among Black students was considered both a privilege and a reward.