Date of Award



© 2018 Travis Dimitri David

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Brianna Parsons

Second Advisor

Michael Patrick

Third Advisor

Olga Calderon


The well-being of faculty is susceptible to influence from intrinsic and extrinsic occupational characteristics. Heterosexism or hostile environments can be associated with decreased satisfaction amongst sexual minorities. As such, this transcendental phenomenology examined perceptions from tenured lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) faculty of their workplace conditions. Eight participants reflected on experiences from within higher education, academic settings. This study purposefully probed how sexual orientation and sexual minority status impacted their overall job satisfaction. Through providing context for social interactions in a traditionally heteronormative environment, cultural and attributional behaviors associated with affecting LGBTQ faculty in higher education was analyzed.

This phenomenology was guided by two research questions: (1) How do lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer (LGBTQ) tenured university faculty perceive workplace climate including direct and indirect experiences? (2) How does sexual orientation and identity in higher education settings affect LGBTQ tenured university faculty members’ job satisfaction i.e. self-expression, acceptance, achievement, advancement, retention, and job security? Data collected was analyzed both manually and with NVivo for Mac qualitative software. Each question added to the existing knowledge base by investigating whether sexual minority status in association with occupational surroundings and cultural practices developed perceptions of affective work related outcomes. Following exhaustive data analysis, four themes emerged: (1) sexuality is complicated; (2) inclusion does not equal acceptance; (3) environmental dynamics are integral; and (4) satisfaction reflects participation. Pivotal excerpts were reviewed and presented in the results section of this study documenting the unique experiences of LGBTQ tenured faculty.

LGBTQ faculty participants perceived their experiences in academia similar to other marginalized groups. As in minority stress theory, the internalization of pervasive attitudes and beliefs throughout the course of common social exchanges was particularly impactful. Therefore, developing an identity as academic faculty was multifaceted and transcended simply stating one’s sexual orientation. To exist within campus climate required the dexterity to possess levels of awareness and activism that adapt with or resist even the subtlest forms of homophobia and intolerance. If unsuccessful or combined with apathy from administrators or colleagues, parity for LGBTQ faculty was imperiled.


Ed.D. Dissertation