Lemondra Hamilton Dissertation Final Defense

The College of Education, Health and

Human Sciences

Announces the Final Examination of

Lemondra Vanshun Hamilton

for the degree of

Doctor of Education

July 6, 2015 at 01:00 pm

123 Ball Hall, University of Memphis

Memphis, TN

Biographical Sketch

Bachelor of Music Education, Music Education, Mississippi Valley State University

Masters of Music Education, Music Education, Florida State University

Master of Arts in Religion, Theology, Memphis Theological Seminary

Advisory Committee

Mitsunori Misawa, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Leadership, Committee chair

Larry McNeal, Ph.D., Professor & Chair, Department of Leadership

Charisse Gulosino, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Leadership

William Akey, Ed.D., Associate Dean, University College

Major Field of Study

Higher and Adult Education

Period of Preparation: 2010 – 2015

Comprehensive Examination Passed: May 2014

Implementing the Ayers Case Settlement: A Multiple Case Study of Three Historically Black Institutions in Mississippi



The State of Mississippi operated a dual system of higher education for White and Black citizens. The inequitable funding of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) became the central issue in the Ayers lawsuit. The State of Mississippi agreed to pay $503 million for endowments and programs at the three public four-year HBCUs. The purpose of this multiple case study was to understand the impact of the Ayers case on state-supported HBCUs in Mississippi from a Critical Race Theory perspective. The research questions that guided this study were: 1) How has the history of higher education in Mississippi affected the way HBCUs operate today? 2) How does the Ayers case affect HBCUs today? and 3) What strategies have HBCUs employed to achieve the student diversity measure set forth by the Ayers settlement as a condition for controlling the endowment? Data collection utilized semi-structured interviews, non-participant observation, and document analysis. Research findings from the cross-case analysis suggest that embedded racism and classism caused White state leaders to form a segregated system of higher education. The interests of Whites and Blacks converged when a large portion of funds were used for other-race scholarships and stipends to benefit White students. Additionally, control of the endowment was withheld from HBCUs until each university obtained a 10 percent population of other-race students for three consecutive years. To achieve the diversity measure, athletics departments at HBCUs recruited Caucasian and international students, administrators signed memoranda of understanding with PWIs and international universities, and academic programs on branch campuses attracted other-race students. The implications for HBCU administrators include securing maximum funds from the state using the funding formula, generating revenue from outside sources by educating alumni and adequately staffing and funding institutional advancement and using the institution’s bond rating to build needed facilities when necessary. In conclusion, the Ayers settlement benefitted HBCUs with capital projects and temporary funds that supported new and enhanced academic programs, faculty salaries and operating budgets but White students also benefitted from the settlement in the form of other-race scholarships and stipends. HBCU administrators are making plans to subsume Ayers budget costs into their operating budgets.

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