Giving Compass' Take:

• Rick Seltzer explains that efforts to diversify leadership on college campuses have made little headway, leaving few schools with female presidents. 

• How can funders work to improve the gender balance in leadership roles like college president? 

• Learn about engaging women as leadership mentors


Despite years of talk about increasing diversity, chatter about interest in hiring from outside academe and buzz about a coming wave of retirements, college and university presidents in 2016 looked much like they did five years before.

Those are some key takeaways from the latest version of the American College President Study from the American Council on Education. The study, which has been released every few years dating back to 1986, provides a closely watched, comprehensive look at the makeup of the college and university presidential work force.

Women are a majority of all undergraduates in the United States, and the number of minority students is projected to grow considerably in the future. Yet less than a third of college presidents were women in 2016.

Less than a fifth were members of a racial or ethnic minority group -- and that low portion is driven up significantly by presidents at minority-serving institutions, who tend to be members of minority groups in greater than average numbers themselves.

The average president was 61.7 years old, up from 60.7 years old in 2011 and 59.9 years old in 2006. Almost a quarter of presidents, 23.9 percent, had held presidential or chief executive officer positions in their job before their current presidency. That’s up from 19.5 percent in 2011 and above the 21.4 percent reported in 2006.

Read the full article on diversification of college presidents by Rick Seltzer at Inside Higher Ed.