Frequently Asked Questions

The Women’s Power Gap (WPG) Initiative at the Eos Foundation seeks to dramatically increase the number of women leaders from a diverse set of backgrounds across all sectors of the economy. We conduct and commission actionable research on prominent sectors of the economy, measure the extent of the power gap, and propose solutions to reach parity. Wherever possible, we capture data on racial and ethnic diversity.

The Eos Foundation is a private philanthropic foundation based in Massachusetts. We support systemic solutions aimed at nourishing children’s bodies, nurturing their minds, building economic security for families, and achieving gender equity and diversity in leadership across society. We invite you to visit our website to learn more.

Headquartered in Washington D.C., the American Association of University Women (AAUW) was founded in 1881 to advance women’s careers and pursuit of higher education. The organization is focused on advancing gender equity through research, education, and advocacy, established by its 2018 strategic plan.

This research will help us create a national baseline to measure and improve gender and racial/ethnic diversity among the leadership of our nation’s top universities. Our goal is to determine the current make-up of leadership at R1 universities as well as their fiduciary boards, then to build collaborations and partnerships to identify best practices to greatly accelerate diversity and parity at the top. Please click on this link to view our report on compensation in higher education released in February 2021.

There are two sections: 1. Leadership, and 2. Race/Ethnicity and General Questionnaire.

Section 1: Leadership

Depending upon your university’s fiduciary board structure, the information request will comprise one to three datasets to review and edit, as appropriate: university leadership, presidential history, and fiduciary board.

Universities/campuses that are governed by a university system board or state oversight board will not have a dataset for the fiduciary board. Instead, the corresponding university systems and state oversight boards are asked to complete a separate information request. University systems will be asked to verify the president/chancellor of the system and fiduciary board (one dataset). State oversight boards will be asked to verify data for only the fiduciary board (one dataset).

Section 2. Race/Ethnicity and General Information Questionnaire
This section asks aggregate race/ethnicity data and a few general information questions.

  • If you represent a private R1 university or a public R1, which is not part of a larger system, the email for this information request will be addressed to the President/Chancellor/CEO of the university.
  • If you represent an R1 campus, which is part of a larger university system, the President/Chancellor/CEO of the campus and the President/Chancellor/CEO of the system will both receive an email. The campus CEO will be asked to verify the leadership of the campus, and the system CEO will be asked to verify data for the fiduciary board.
  • If you represent a board, which governs additional institutions of higher education in your state apart from the R1 campus(es), we have addressed the email to the Board Chair, if available, or a senior administrator for the board.

We have also copied the following roles per your university’s website: Head of Institutional Research or President/Chancellor’s Chief of Staff and/or Executive Assistant, or similar.

1. The first email sent on 9/30/21 from Eos Foundation President Andrea Silbert ( re-introduces the Eos Foundation and the context of this research in partnership with AAUW. Instructions and a link to begin the information request are included: please click the orange button Start Information Request at the bottom of the email.

2. In addition, you may receive a call to your office to ensure this first email has been received as well as to answer any questions you may have.

3. We will send periodic reminder emails to universities that have not completed the information request.

We recommend heading to the instructions for each section, located at the top of each information request page. They will walk you through each step of completing the information request.

We anticipate the information request to take 20 to 30 minutes for you to verify the data and make corrections, as needed. Depending on your access to internal employee records and other information, this process may take longer.

You will need internal employee records on the individuals listed in the information request, including their name, title, gender, and when available, race/ethnicity. In Section 2 of our information request, we also ask for any feedback on your institution’s data collection practices regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). We are hoping to highlight these in our upcoming report.

No. If you exit the information at any point before finishing, you will be able to return by clicking the Start Information Request button in our initial information request email. This will bring you back to the start of the information request, but any changes you have made previously will be saved and appear as you go through the information request.

Yes. Once you forward the email, the recipient will be able to click Start Information Request from the email and complete and/or view the information request.

The link in the email will bring you into the information request for your university only.

Our report will analyze data at both the aggregate and individual university levels for comparative purposes. Gender and racial/ethnic data for groups of individuals will be used in aggregate only. Names of individuals will be used for only top executives of the university, including the President or Chancellor, Provost or Chief Academic Officer and the Chair of the Governing Board.

Friday, October 29, 2021, by 5pm EST.

We captured senior leadership positions and fiduciary board members for 130 R1 universities, defined as universities engaged in the highest level of research activity by the Carnegie Classification. All position details were obtained from publicly available sources by our research team, such as:

    • University websites
    • Fiduciary board websites
    • Press releases and news articles

We would be happy to share this information. Please contact or call 508-430-8130.

Senior leadership positions have been defined and displayed in four groups:

    • Group 1: Top Leaders are:
      • President/Chancellor/Chief Executive Officer of the R1 University/Campus
      • Provost/Chief Academic Officer of the R1 University/Campus
      • If your institution is a part of a larger university system, this may include the President/Chancellor of the University System.
    • Group 2: Deans of Colleges and Schools include leaders for colleges and schools within the institution/campus being surveyed.
    • Group 3: Other Institutional Leadership is the President/Chancellor’s cabinet or equivalent group of senior leaders as identified on university webpages titled: President’s Cabinet, Executive Leadership, Senior Administration, or similar. This group of leaders includes Deans of Libraries as well as other administrative Deans, such as Deans of Faculty, Deans of Students, etc.
    • Group 4: Board represents the fiduciary board governing the R1. Student members have been omitted from this group.

Yes, all leaders and board members listed in Section 1 of the information request should reflect the leadership at your university as of September 15, 2021. Since we collected the data using your institution’s website, the most recent turnovers among the leadership may have not been reflected in our dataset and we ask you to verify, and if needed, add new leaders who resumed their post prior to or on September 15.

We defined gender in accordance with current convention, utilizing W (Woman), M (Man), and NB (Nonbinary) to represent an individual’s gender identity. Nonbinary is the term used to identify a person who does not identify within the gender binary classifications of woman or man.

We used at least two methods to determine gender during our research process, such as photos and pronouns from bios, press releases, articles, and university websites.

To define race, we turned to the U.S. Census designations and assigned “Unknown” when a determination could not be made:

    1. White
    2. Black or African American
    3. American Indian or Alaska Native
    4. Asian 
    5. Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
    6. Hispanic or Latinx
    7. Two or More Races
    8. Unknown

We identified race/ethnicity only for the Top Leaders and the Chair(s) of the Board. To accomplish this, we pulled bios, articles, press releases, university websites, and other public documents relating to the individual. We then identified a race/ethnic determination based on notations, such as: “first-ever African-American president.”

Yes, however, we strongly recommend using a personal computer or laptop for ease of use in viewing the data and completing the information request, including making comments, edits, and answering a brief questionnaire.

Please verify that email links are enabled, check your Internet connection, and open a new browser window. By clicking the Start Information Request button, a new tab should open with the welcome instructions as seen below. If not, please contact or call 508-430-8130.

Yes. Our research team has tested the information request on each browser to ensure ease of use and functionality. If you experience issues with completing the information request on your browser, please contact or call 508-430-8130.

We have taken great care to ensure the information request is easy to navigate and complete, providing instructions in each section. If you need additional technical assistance, please contact us at or call 508-430-8130.

Yes, both. If you want to print the data, please click the Print PDF button in the top right corner of any information request pages. If you want to download the data, please click the floppy disc icon.

You will not be able to change data once you submit the information request. If you realize you made an error and need to correct it, please contact or call 508-430-8130.


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