New Report Ranks The Nation’s 130 Elite Research Universities For Gender Parity Among Top Positions

By Reggie Culpepper
January 21, 2022

Despite women of color making up 19% of all PhD earners, they consist of just 5% of both university presidents and board chairs.

Though women have outnumbered men in colleges since the late 1970s, and college populations have become increasingly diverse, the people who are at the helm of our nation’s top universities are still predominantly white men. The Women’s Power Gap at Elite Universities: Scaling the Ivory Tower examines diversity data at the nation’s elite research universities (“R1s”). Conducted by the Women’s Power Gap Initiative (WPG) at the Eos Foundation, in partnership with the American Association of University Women (AAUW), it found that women comprise just 22% of the 130 R1 leaders, and among these presidents, only 5% are women of color.

In 2021, the WPG issued a report examining diversity among the highest-paid professionals at these universities. This new report analyzes gender, racial, and ethnic data for top leadership – president, provost, board chair, academic deans, presidents’ cabinets, and governing boards. The data was released at an event on January 20, 2022, with panelists Lynn Wooten, President of Simmons University, Juliet Garcia, former President of University of Texas at Brownsville and the first Latina to serve as a college president (in 1986), and Anne Massey, Dean of the Isenberg Business School of Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

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