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Black Woman on Board

Black Woman on Board

Claudia Hampton, the California State University, and the Fight to Save Affirmative Action

Donna J. Nicol
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Offers a rare view inside the university boardroom, uncovering the vital role Black women educational leaders have played in ensuring access and equity for all.

Black Woman on Board: Claudia Hampton, the California State University, and the Fight to Save Affirmative Action examines the leadership strategies that Black women educators have employed as influential power brokers in predominantly white colleges and universities in the United States. Author Donna J. Nicol tells the extraordinary story of Dr. Claudia H. Hampton, the California State University (CSU) system's first Black woman trustee, who later became the board's first woman chair, and her twenty-year fight (1974–94) to increase access within the CSU for historically marginalized and underrepresented groups. Amid a growing white backlash against changes brought on by the 1960s Civil Rights and Black Power Movements, Nicol argues that Hampton enacted "sly civility" to persuade fellow trustees, CSU system officials, and state lawmakers to enforce federal and state affirmative action mandates.

Black Woman on Board explores how Hampton methodically "played the game of boardsmanship," using the soft power she cultivated amongst her peers to remove barriers that might have impeded the implementation and expansion of affirmative action policies and programs. In illuminating the ways that Hampton transformed the CSU as the "affirmative action trustee," this remarkable book makes an important contribution to the history of higher education and to the historiography of Black women's educational leadership in the post-Civil Rights era.


DONNA J. NICOL is Associate Dean in the College of Liberal Arts at California State University, Long Beach, CA.


  • Publisher: University of Rochester Press
  • Publish Date: May 07, 2024
  • Pages: 240
  • Dimensions: 6.0 X 9.0 X 0.63 inches | 1.1 pounds
  • Language: English
  • Type: Hardcover
  • EAN/UPC: 9781648250231
  • BISAC Categories: Administration - Higher, Ethnic Studies - African American Studies, Women's Studies, General
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