college presidency

In the wake of innovation, is the college presidency changing?

A new report reveals that while women and minorities experienced slight increases in higher-ed leadership roles, white males dominate the college presidency.

The presence of women and minorities in higher-ed leadership has increased only very slightly in recent years, and typical U.S. college and university presidents continue to be white males in their early 60s who hold doctoral degrees, according to a new report from the American Council on Education (ACE).

The American College President Study 2017 (ACPS) contains data on presidential demographics, search and selection processes, career trajectories, and the duties and responsibilities of college and university chief executive officers. For the first time, the report examines the views of presidents in three key areas: diversity and inclusion; state funding and political climate; and areas of importance for the future.

The report provides a sobering look at the ongoing challenges of diversifying the ranks of the college presidency.

The percentage of women holding the top job at colleges and universities stood at 30 percent in 2016, up just 4 percentage points from 2011.

The percentage of minority presidents also saw only a 4 percentage point increase since 2011, rising to 17 percent in 2016 and up just 10 percentage points since 1986.

(Next: What do these slow trends mean for the college presidency?)

Laura Ascione