Most New Presidents at Top Research Universities Are Now Women

Most New Presidents at Top Research Universities Are Now Women

The last 20 months have seen a rise in the number of women leading the nation’s premier research universities, a new study shows.

Women now sit in the president’s office in 30 percent of the nation’s 146 R1 research universities, up from 22 percent when the same survey was conducted in September 2021 by the Women’s Power Gap, an effort by the Eos Foundation to increase the number of women from diverse backgrounds in high-ranking executive positions.

Fifty-three percent of the 38 presidents appointed since that period were women. Nine institutions — including Dartmouth College, Oregon State University, and New York University — named their first female president ever.

That number could rise in the near future, the study notes. At least seven R1 universities, including Boston University, Michigan State University, and Ohio State University, have openings.

“It is heartening to see more women leading our nation’s elite universities,” said Andrea Silbert, president of the Eos Foundation. “This speaks to an increased awareness of the importance of having academic leadership that represents the diversity of the student population it serves. Women have outnumbered men on college campuses for decades, so it’s high time we’re starting to see more gender and racial diversity reflected in the highest roles in academia.”

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