Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Komarraju, Meera


This study aimed to examine the vast and diverse roles that diversity professionals play on college campuses and to create and establish statistical reliability and validity evidence for the Diversity Professional Skills Assessment (DPSA). A diversity professional was described as an individual who held a leadership position on a college campus and was working in an assignment that aimed to make the campus more inclusive. Furthermore, as the title implies, they were professionals - this meant that they were not an undergraduate or graduate student in a voluntary leadership role. An initial set of 54 items was created using prior research and was then reduced to 52 items, based on the feedback of six subject matter experts (SMEs). In order to establish validity and reliability evidence of the DPSA, it was proposed that diversity professionals would complete the DPSA, in addition to a demographic survey and measures of transformational leadership and multicultural competence. Due to recruitment obstacles, the data needed to provide validity and reliability evidence could not be collected but instead, two samples of Mturk workers were recruited to take an online survey and answer demographic questions about themselves, as well as rate the importance of the DPSA’s items and the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire’s (MLQ) transformational leadership items for diversity professionals working in specific settings (i.e. higher-education or corporate). The higher-education Mturk group consisted of responses from 151 Mturk workers and the responses from corporate Mturk group came from 156 Mturk workers. Additional validity and reliability evidence was gathered through ii a sample of 60 job descriptions. A content analysis of the 60 job descriptions provided support for the hypothesis that the Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSAs), captured by the DPSA’s items, were present in the job descriptions for diversity professionals in higher education settings. Additionally, the factor analysis indicated that a 7-factor model explained a total of 57.36% of the total variance, with most of the variance being explained by a single factor (42.13%). The findings of this study provide guidance for future work on the skills relevant for diversity professionals in higher education.




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