American College President Study

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

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  • Leading the Way to Parity: Preparation, Persistence, and the Role of Women Presidents August 1, 2018
    Female college presidents experience additional expectations and demands on their time and energy than their male counterparts. This work reveals how, despite those disparities, women are equipped to lead and persist in the role in unique ways. These findings contribute to our understanding of what helps women reach for—and succeed in—the office.


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  • Ready to Lead: Women in the Presidency August 1, 2018
    Creating gender parity among college presidents necessitates acknowledging and appreciating what women bring to the academy. The current state of higher education presents multiple opportunities for women presidents to further progress as institutional leaders. These findings reveal how they are highly qualified and prepared for the role.