On the Pathway to the Presidency 2013: Characteristics of Higher Education's Senior Leadership

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This report is the second in the On the Pathway to the Presidency series. The report examines the demographic and professional backgrounds of senior campus leaders, especially those in positions that can lead to a college or university presidency. One concern arising from the study is the extent to which there is a diverse and talented pool of senior administrators to fill vacancies expected in institutional leadership. The research includes trends in characteristics of senior campus leaders in four-year institutions as well as recommendations to consider. Highlights include: • The share of senior leaders age 61 or older in four-year institutions increased from 21 percent in 2008 to 26 percent in 2013. Among CAOs, nearly a third in academe are 61 or older. • While overall, racial/ethnic characteristics of senior leaders remained the same between 2008 and 2013, a closer look at the individual positions reveals that the share of African Americans in the position of CAO declined from 3.7 percent in 2008 to 2.3 percent in 2013. Similarly, Asian-American CAOs declined from 3.7 percent to 2.4 percent while Hispanic CAOs declined from 1.5 percent to 0.8 percent. • Overall, four-year campuses are just as like to hire senior leaders internally and externally in 2013 as they were in 2008, with the share of CAO internal hires only declining slightly from 43 percent in 2008 to 41 percent in 2013.