The encounters of indifference of Filipino American faculty in higher education
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The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine the experiences of Filipino American faculty members in North American colleges and universities to ascertain how they negotiated through societal, institutional and cultural barriers. The research questions that guided this study were: 1) what societal and institutional barriers did Filipino scholars encounter in their academic pursuits; 2) how did Filipino scholars negotiate societal and institutional barriers; 3) in what ways did culture impact the academic experiences of Filipino scholars; and 4) what is the nature of the learning that occurred in the academic experiences of Filipino faculty? The participants of this study were seven Filipino American faculty members currently at teaching institutions on the West Coast, Pacific Northwest, Southeast, East Coast regions and Canada. All of the faculty participants were purposely selected and self-identified as Filipino Americans with a doctoral degree. Data collection consisted of interviews, document analysis, and field notes. Using semi-structured questions, I collected, analyzed, and interpreted their personal experiences in the academy. The documents consisted of curriculum vitae, professional publications, and data from university home pages. Three themes emerged from the data. The first theme, Hostile Experiences Connected to Living in a Post-Colonial World, described overt and subtle forms of hostility from faculty members, institutional policies and procedures and interactions with students. The second theme, Experiences of Isolation Rooted in Existing Cultural Relational Patterns, suggested an inherent manifestation of internal and external isolation. In the third theme, Feelings of Self-Doubt Entrenched in Memories and Reinforced by Daily Experiences, underscored how self-doubt is manifested through memories of cultural messages. The major conclusions drawn from this study were: 1) Hostility Permeates the Filipino American Faculty Experience, 2) Filipino American Scholars Desire Representation and Validation, 3) Cultural Messages Persist as a Colonizing Influence, and 4) The Learning Processes For Filipino American Faculty Are Rooted in Transformation and Incidental Learning.