American College President Study

This site includes data from ACPS 2017 and previous editions and is no longer being updated. For more information, please visit

College and university presidents occupy a leadership role unlike any other. They play a critical role in ensuring their institution’s success, especially as internal and external pressures have grown at a time of resource instability and demographic change.

Since it was first published in 1988, the American College President Study (ACPS) has remained the most comprehensive source of information about the college presidency and higher education leadership pipeline.

This interactive data tool highlights select findings from the American College President Study 2017 and previous iterations. The tool also offers opportunities to look ahead at when the college presidency might reach gender parity or racial parity.

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Summary Profile

The demographic profile of the typical college president continues to change, albeit slowly. Explore demographic information as well as presidents’ career trajectories and previous presidential experience.

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Women Presidents

Although the college presidency is predominantly male, there are more women presidents now than ever before. See their demographic profile, the types of institutions they lead, and their career paths to the presidency.

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Minority Presidents

Presidents of color make up an increasing, though still underrepresented, share of the presidency. Learn about their demographic profile, the types of institutions they lead, and gender representation among minority presidents.

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Diversity & Inclusion

College presidents are increasingly committed to fostering diverse and inclusive campus environments. Discover their views on diversifying the faculty and their perspectives on women and racial/ethnic minorities on campus.

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Duties & Responsibilities

The college presidency is a multifaceted role that is central to the success of a given institution. Find out how presidents spend their time, what their key frustrations are, and from whom they draw professional support.

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Internal & External Influences

College presidents are impacted by a broad range of influences within and outside of their institutions. Understand their views on funding sources, performance measures, and their state’s political climate.

Explore the Data

View select American College President Study data from 2001 to 2016.

View Data

Look ahead to when the college presidency might reach gender parity or racial parity.

View by Gender    View by Race

   Recent News & Tweets

Special Report

  • Innovative Leadership: Insights from the American College President Study 2017
    This brief utilizes data from ACPS and reflections from a roundtable of current and former presidents and association leaders who discussed what ACPS data tell us about their own experiences leading colleges and universities. The brief shares examples of how innovative leaders work collaboratively with campus stakeholders, build and strengthen networks, and turn their challenges into successes. (1.2 MB PDF)

Special Report

  • Minority Serving Institutions as Engines of Upward Mobility
    This brief utilizes newly released Equality of Opportunity Project data to examine the upward income mobility of students who attended MSIs compared to students who did not. Authors found that MSIs propel their students from the bottom to the top of the income distribution at higher rates than do non- MSIs. (1.1 MB PDF)