Master of Arts in Higher Education (MAHE) Theses

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Scott Moeschberger

Second Advisor

Tim Herrmann

Third Advisor

Skip Trudeau


The ability of women to achieve leadership positions is often constricted in comparison to males, especially within higher education. Although these limitations exist as a global phenomenon, they are a reality specifically within African higher education (Arnfred & Afrikainstituet, 2004). Some women break through barriers such as cultural traditions and enter into leadership, but numbers remain uneven between male and female managers (Burn, 2005). Much can be learned from the experiences of the women who achieve managerial positions within higher education. Currently, literature exists on women serving in the public academic world, but little to no research exists on female administrators in the private, faith-based universities (Cubillo & Brown, 2003); Thaver, 2008). In hopes of addressing this issue by using a phenomenological, qualitative research method, this study reports on the experiences of women serving on the management board of a private, Kenyan institution. The study found that though women have an overall positive experience, the expectations upon them are too high and make it difficult to progress into higher administration. Participants also discussed their personality and strengths playing a huge role in their success. The participants offer advice through their stories as encouragement to others who will follow in their footsteps.