Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Dustin D. Berna
Neil H. Katz
Mary Hope Schwoebel
boards of trustees, higher education leadership, oppression of women, women college presidents, women leaders, women trustees
Women are underrepresented as college and university (school) presidents and currently hold about 30% of school presidencies. In 2014, the American Council on Education (ACE) launched an initiative to achieve gender parity among U.S. school presidencies by 2030. To support this initiative, Dr. Belle Wheelan, president of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), challenged member institutions to support ACE’s initiative in achieving gender parity among school presidents by 2030. The boards of trustees hire school presidents and play a pivotal role in achieving gender parity. The research addresses a gap in literature examining if there is a connection between the gender disparity of school presidents and the lack of female trustees and chairpersons on school governing boards.
This study employed a feminist theoretical framework and a non-experimental quantitative method to examine if there are differences in the gender proportion of school boards of trustees based on the gender of school presidents and if there is an association between the gender of board chairpersons and the gender of school presidents. Statistical tests conducted on a census population of 780 SACSCOC member institutions identified a difference in the gender proportion of school boards of trustees based on the gender of school presidents and confirmed an association between the gender of board chairpersons and the gender of school presidents. The results of this study help to identify action steps necessary to move the needle toward achieving gender parity among school presidents by 2030.
Janell Emmaline Gibson. 2021. Women as College and University Presidents: Sharpening the Needle. Doctoral dissertation. Nova Southeastern University. Retrieved from NSUWorks, . (186)