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Robert T. Palmer (He/Him/His)

Chair and Professor

  • Educational Leadership & Policy Studies
  • School of Education


Dr. Robert T. Palmer is Department Chair and Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Howard University. His research examines issues of access, equity, retention, persistence, and the college experience of racial and ethnic minorities, particularly within the context of historically Black colleges and universities. Dr. Palmer’s work has been published in leading journals in higher education, such as Journal of College Student Development, Teachers College Record, Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, Journal of Negro Education, College Student Affairs Journal, Journal of College Student Retention, The Negro Educational Review, and Journal of Black Studies, among others. Since earning his Ph.D. in 2007, Dr. Palmer has authored/ co-authored well over 100 academic publications. His books include Racial and ethnic minority students’ success in STEM education (2011, Jossey-Bass), Black men in college: Implications for HBCUs and beyond (2012, Routledge), Black graduate education at HBCUs: Trends, experiences, and outcomes (2012, Information Age Publishing), Fostering success of ethnic and racial minorities in STEM: The role of minority serving institution (2012, Routledge), Community colleges and STEM: Examining underrepresented racial and ethnic minorities (2013, Routledge), STEM models of success: Programs, policies, and Practices (2014, Information Age Press), Black male collegians: Increasing access, retention, and persistence in higher education (2014, Jossey-Bass), Understanding HIV and STI Prevention for College Students (2014, Routledge), Black men in higher education: A Guide to Ensuring Success (2014, Routledge), Exploring diversity at historically Black colleges and universities: Implications for policy and practice (2015, Jossey-Bass), Hispanic serving institutions: Their origins, and present, and future challenges (2015, Stylus), the African American students’ guide to STEM Career (2017, Greenwood Publishing), Black men in the academy: Stories of resiliency, inspiration, and success (2015, Palgrave Macmillan), Effective leadership at Minority-Serving Institutions ( 2017, Routledge),  Graduate and professional education at Historically Black colleges and universities (2017, Routledge), and Models and bridges for supporting students at Minority-Serving Institutions (forthcoming, Jossey-Bass). In 2009, the American College Personnel Association’s (ACPA) Standing Committee for Men recognized his excellent research on Black men with its Outstanding Research Award. In 2011, Dr. Palmer was named an ACPA Emerging Scholar and in 2012 and a Senior Scholar in 2017. In 2012, he also received the Carlos J. Vallejo Award of Emerging Scholarship from the American Education Research Association (AERA). Furthermore, in 2012, he was awarded the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE)-Mildred García Junior Exemplary Scholarship Award. In 2015, Diverse Issues in Higher Education recognized Dr. Palmer as an Emerging Scholar. Later that year, he also received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities. This prestigious award is normally given to a full professor. Dr. Palmer is on the editorial boards of the Journal of College Student Development, Journal of Negro Education, Journal of African American Males in Education, ASHE Monograph Series, and Spectrum: A journal on Black men. He also serves as an occasional reviewer for a variety of journals in higher education. Dr. Palmer earned his Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from Morgan State University in 2007, M.S. in Counseling with an emphasis on Higher Education at West Chester University of Pennsylvania in 2003, and the History at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania in 2001.



Education & Expertise


History/Secondary Education

Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania

Counseling with an Emphasis in Student Affairs

West Chester University of Pennsylvania

Higher Education Administration

Morgan State University


Student Success and Outcomes


Black men in Higher Education

Student Access and Success

Racial and ethnic Minorities in STEM

HBCU and College Presidency



2017: Senior Scholar, (ACPA)-College Student Educators International

2015: Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities, SUNY Binghamton

2015: Emerging Scholar by Diverse Issues in Higher Education

2014: Co-Recipient (With J. Luke Wood)-Author of the Month, November 2014-Routledge (Taylor and Francis Group)

2014: Research Affiliate, Center for Minority Serving Institutions at the University of Pennsylvania (2014-present)

2012: Research Consultant and HBCU Content Expert, Regional Education Laboratory (REL) Mid-Atlantic (2012-2015)

2012: ASHE-Mildred García Junior Exemplary Scholarship Award

2011: Emerging Scholar Award (ACPA)-College Student Educators International

2009: ACPA Outstanding Research Award, Standing Committee for Men

Related Articles

Palmer, R. T. & Freeman, S. (2019). Examining unsuccessful leadership practices for presidents at historically Black colleges and universities. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education

Preston, D. C., & Palmer, R. T. (2018). When relevance is no longer the question. Journal of Black Studies.

Maramba, D. C., Palmer, R. T., Kang, H. & Yull, D. (2018). An exploratory study of the college choice progress for Southeast Asian American students. Journal of College Student Affairs Research and Practice.

Palmer, R. T., Arroyo, A. T., & Maramba, D. C. (2018). Exploring the perceptions of HBCU student affairs practitioners toward the racial diversification of Black colleges. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 11(1), 1-15.

Arroyo, A., Palmer, R. T., Maramba, D. C., & Louis, D. (2016). Exploring the efforts of HBCU student affairs practitioners to support non-Black students. Journal of College Student Affairs Research and Practice.

Palmer, R. T., & Boykin-Fountaine, T. (2016). Examining the paradox between dismantling de Jure segregation and affirmative Action: Implications from contemporary higher education case law. Journal of Negro Education.

Palmer, R. T., Wood, J. L., & Arroyo, A. (2016). Toward a model of retention and persistence for Black men at HBCUs. Spectrum: Journal on Black Men, 4(1), 5-20.