Available but Not Approachable: Black Business Students’ Interactions with Faculty at a Historically White Institution
Keywords:Academic persistence, Black/African American students, Critical Race Theory, student-faculty interactions
Persistent racial inequities in educational attainment and employment negatively affect the economic mobility of the Black population in the United States. Among college graduates, Black people are underrepresented in most high-paying college majors, except for business. In this phenomenological study framed by Critical Race Theory, Black business students (n=10) at a Historically White Institution shared their perceptions of the climate and experiences of interactions with faculty. Students reported they often felt unwelcome and othered in the White-dominated space and received limited support from White faculty that were frequently “available but not approachable”. Future research and practice should focus on institutional strategies to address racism by developing an equitable and welcoming business school culture and fostering cultural competence of faculty.