Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Adult, Career and Higher Education

Major Professor

Tonisha B. Lane, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Judith Ponticell, Ph.D.

Committee Member

J. Michael Denton, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jolyn Blank, Ph.D.


Higher education, middle management, Racial Battle Fatigue, Racism


The purpose of this qualitative interview study was to identify the unique stressors Black mid-level student affairs administrators encounter, how they cope with such stressors, and the perceived consequences of these encounters and coping mechanisms. Data for this qualitative interview study was collected from face-to-face interviews with eight Black mid-level student affairs administrators at predominantly White institutions in the U.S, and from and an optional diary entry. Findings revealed that participants experienced racialized role strain as a result of interactions with White peers and supervisors, same-race peers, and navigating campus climate. Specifically, the Black mid-level participants experienced strain in their roles when they were left on their own to deal with issues of campus climate and campus racial incidents, resulting in cultural taxation and racial battle fatigue. The racialized role strain of the Black mid-level student affairs administrators resulted in coping strategies that included social supports, spiritual and religious practices, mental health counseling, medication, physical activity, and departure.