Leadership Studies — Organization and Leadership
Uma  Jayakumar

Uma Jayakumar, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Leadership Studies

Uma M. Jayakumar is a fourth year Assistant Professor of Organization and Leadership at the University of San Francisco’s School of Education and a Faculty Associate at the University of Michigan with the Education and Well Being program in the Survey Research Center at the Institute for Social Research. Jayakumar earned her Ph.D. in Higher Education and Organizational Change at UCLA and thereafter worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the National Center for Institutional Diversity at the University of Michigan. Her scholarship addresses race, equity, and diversity issues in higher education, with a focus on how institutional environments such as campus climates/ cultures, and organizational practices such as admissions processes and affirmative action shape college access and outcomes, and how students experience and resist barriers to inclusive engagement. These topics are reflected in coursework such as “Race, Diversity, and Higher Education” and “Campus Environments and Cultures” and in the equity-oriented mission and curriculum of the Higher Education and Student Affairs program she co-developed and co-directed at USF from 2011-2013. Jayakumar’s research is featured in the Harvard Educational Review, the Journal of Higher Education, Diverse Magazine, reports to foundations and educational institutes, and a recent co-edited volume entitled: “Creating Campus Cultures: Fostering Success among Diverse Student Populations.” Dr. Jayakumar is recipient of the 2007 Bobby Wright Dissertation of the Year Award by the Association for the Study of Higher Education and was named Exemplary Diversity Scholar by the National Center for Institutional Diversity in 2010. Jayakumar was one of 21 social science researchers who co-developed an amicus brief summarizing key research findings related to the use of race-conscious admissions practices. The brief, submitted to The Supreme Court by the Civil Rights Project at UCLA, supports the need for affirmative action in Higher Education Institutions. In addition to the Social Scientists brief, her work informed amici submitted to the Court by the American Educational Research Association (AERA), American Psychological Association (APA), National Women’s Law Center, 17 United States Senators, Harvard Graduate School of Education Students for Diversity, and Asian American Center for Advancing Justice. Jayakumar is pursuing related research on critical mass, campus climate, and racial equity as a Spencer/ National Academy Postdoctoral Fellow (2013- 2014 academic year) and as a Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow (2014-2015).


Ph.D., Education, University of California, Los Angeles

Research Areas

Racial diversity and educational outcomes; campus climate and culture; college choice and access; race and educational equity.

Courses Offered
  • Academic and Student Affairs in Higher Education
  • Race, Diversity, and Higher Education
  • Student Development in College
  • Campus Environments and Cultures
  • Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education

Jayakumar, U. M., & Garces, L. M. (Eds.) (forthcoming). Affirmative Action and Racial Equity: Considering the Fisher case to forge the path ahead. New York: Routledge


Garces, L. M., & Jayakumar, U. M. (2014). Dynamic Diversity: Toward a contextual understanding of critical mass. Educational Researcher. 43 (3), 115 – 124.


Jayakumar, U.M. & Rican, V., Allen, W. R. (2013). Pathways to College for Young Black Scholars: A Community Cultural Wealth Perspective. Harvard Educational Review. 83 (4), 551 – 579.


Allen, W.R., & Jayakumar, U. M. ( 2012). Water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink: higher education access and success for black and latino students in california, usa. In W.R. Allen, R.T. Teranishi, & M. Bonous-Hammarth (Eds.), As the world turns: implications of global shifts in higher education for theory, research and practice. Bingley, UK: Emerald Books.


Jayakumar, U.M. (2012). The role of student agency, student empowerment, and social praxis in shaping supportive cultures at traditionally white instituions. In S. D. Museus & U. M. Jayakumar (Eds.). Creating campus cultures: Fostering success among racially diverse student populations (pp. 1-27). New York: Routledge.


Jayakumar, U. M., & Museus, S. D. (2012). Mapping the intersection of campus cultures and equitable outcomes among racially diverse student populations. In S. D. Museus & U. M. Jayakumar (Eds.). Creating campus cultures: Fostering success among racially diverse student populations (pp. 1-27). New York: Routledge.


Museus, S. D., & Jayakumar, U. M. (Eds.). (2012). Creating Campus Cultures: Fostering success among racially diverse student populations. New York: Routledge.


Museus, S.D., Jayakumar, U.M., & Robinson, T. (2012). Modeling racial differences in the effects of racial representation on two-year college student success. College Student Retention, 13 (4), 549–572.


Vue, R., Haslerig, S., Jayakumar, U.M., & Allen, W.R. (2012). Creating college-going cultures for students of color in the us: finding a balance between targeted and normative models of intervention. In C. Camp Yeakey (Ed.). Living on the boundary: urban marginality in national and international contexts. Bingley, UK: Emerald Books.


Griffin, K. A., Jayakumar, U. M., Jones, M. M., & Allen, W. A. (2010). Ebony in the ivory tower: Trends in the socioeconomic status, achievement, and self-concept of Black male freshmen between 1971 and 2004. Equity and Excellence in Education, 43 (2), 232 – 248.


Vogelgesang, L. J., Denson, N., & Jayakumar, U. M. (2010). Does institutional support for engaged scholarship matter? The Review of Higher Education, 33 (4), 437 – 472.


Brown, B. A., Brown, C. A., & Jayakumar, U. M. (2009). When culture’s class: Transposing a college going culture in an urban school. In W. R. Allen, E. Kimura-Walsh, & K. A. Griffin (Eds.), Towards a brigher tomorrow: College barriers, hopes and plans of Black, Latino/a, and Asian American students in California. New York: Information Age Publishers.


Buenavista, T. L., Jayakumar, U. M., Misa-Escalante, K. (2009). Contextualizing Asian American education through Critical Race Theory: An example of U.S. Pilipino college student experiences. In S. D. Museus & M. J. Chang (Eds.), Conducting research on Asian Americans in higher education: New Directions for Institutional Research, No. 142. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.


Griffin, K. A., Jayakumar, U. M., Jones, M. J., & Allen, W. R. (2009). Overcoming barriers: Characteristics of Black male freshmen between 1971 and 2004. In H. T. Freirson, W. Pearson, & J. H. Wyche (Eds.). Black American males in higher education: Issues of participation and parity. United Kingdom: Emerald Group Publishing Limited.


Jayakumar, U. M. (2009). The invisible rainbow in diversity: Factors influencing sexual prejudice among college students. Journal of Homosexuality, 56 (6), 675-700.


Jayakumar, U. M., Howard, T. C., Allen, W. R. & Han, J. C. (2009). Racial privilege in the professoriate: An exploration of campus climate, retention, and satisfaction. Journal of Higher Education, 80 (5), 538-563.


Jayakumar, U.M. (2008). Can higher education meet the needs of an increasingly diverse and global society? Campus diversity and cross-cultural workforce competencies. Harvard Educational Review, 78 (4), 615–651.


Allen, W. R., Jayakumar, U. M., & Franke, R. (2007). Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink: Higher education access and success for America’s growing population of under-represented students of color. 2007 Proceedings of American Statistical Association, [CD-ROM].


Comeaux, E., & Jayakumar, U. M. (2006). Education in the United States: Is it a Black problem? The Urban Review, 39 (1), 93-104.