Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Guillermo Montes

Second Supervisor

Anne Wahl


The purpose of this study was to consider the ways successfully tenured deaf faculty members experienced the tenure review process, and what knowledge and accommodations could be identified to support deaf junior faculty members’ successful navigation of future tenure review. Through the use of semi-structured interviews, twelve deaf full-time professors described an experience inclusive of supports and challenges toward their successful receipt of tenure at a mid-sized comprehensive university in western New York State. The participants’ descriptions revealed an experience framed by seven interrelated themes. These included: (a) a persistent and resilient spirit, (b) of friends and foes, (c) concealing “who I am” to become “who I want to be;” (d) scholarship at what cost? (e) access as hindrance or help, (f) “it was almost like a changing of the guard,” and (g) being prepared. Understanding how tenure review processes and questions of accommodation and access are experienced by this uniquely positioned community can inform higher education leaders on a variety of campuses seeking to expand the diversity of faculty and scholarship, as well as offer important advice to deaf and other minority faculty members navigating tenure review in more solitary circumstances on college campuses across America.