Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 4-15-2019


THE UNDERREPRESENTATION OF HISPANICS AS TENURED OR TENURED TRACK PROFESSORS: A CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF HISPANIC FACULTY EXPERIENCES AT THREE SOUTHWESTERN UNIVERSITIES by Frank R. Tellez B.S., Political Science, and History, University of New Mexico, 2000 M.A., History, University of New Mexico, 2004 Ph.D., Language, Literature & Sociocultural Studies, University of New Mexico, 2019 ABSTRACT The numbers speak for themselves. Hispanics are underrepresented in the tenure or tenure-track professorships. This study focuses on barriers Hispanics must overcome to obtain tenure and tenure-track positions in higher education successfully, and once hired to navigate promotion from assistant to associate to full professor. The first one focuses on the ways institutional racism presents itself as the mitigating factor in the failure of colleges and universities to hire Hispanics as full-time professors in numbers comparable to Hispanic student enrollment. Next, it looks at the ways Hispanic faculty situate their socialization with their peers and within their departments, moreover, what role does institutional racism play in their narratives and their perception of the institution's efforts to retain them. Lastly, the study examines the hiring trend in which universities and colleges hire part-time and contingent faculty members in numbers more substantial than they hire tenure or tenure-track members, thus, lowering available positions and increasing competition among all qualified applicants for the few tenured or tenure-track professorships available. The purpose of this study was to explore the personal and professional lived experiences of nine self-identified native-born Hispanic, Mexican American and Chicana/o tenured and tenure-track faculty members employed at three Hispanic serving institutions of higher education located in the Southwestern region of the United States. This study utilized a qualitative narrative methodology employing the critical race tenets of counter-storytelling and the permanence of racism. With this methodology, the participant's counter-story narratives shed light on various degrees of racism about their social and cultural climate, tenure and promotion process, and level of job satisfaction as faculty members of color in higher education. Themes elicited from the participant’s narratives were compared against the associated master narratives. The participants’ lived experiences substantiated previous findings related to faculty of color and their narratives enhanced limited findings with more depth and detail specific to Mexican-American and Chicana/o faculty in the three institutions targeted in this study.


Critical Race Theory

Document Type




Degree Name

Language, Literacy and Sociocultural Studies

Level of Degree


Department Name

Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies

First Committee Member (Chair)

Glenabah Martinez

Second Committee Member

Paul Hutton

Third Committee Member

Allison Borden

Fourth Committee Member

Eliseo Torres