CIC’s report, “A Study of Career Patterns of the Presidents of Independent Colleges and Universities,” examines the various career routes and other characteristics of first-time presidents. Using data from the American Council on Education’s American College President Study, CIC analyzed the career pathways; demographic characteristics such as gender, race/ethnicity, and age; major field of study; and sense of readiness for various presidential responsibilities of first-time American college and university presidents from 1986 to 2006. Comparisons were made between first-time presidents of CIC member institutions and presidents of four major sub-sectors: public baccalaureate and master’s level institutions, private doctoral universities, public doctoral universities, and public two-year colleges.
With a better understanding of the career patterns and characteristics of member presidents, CIC is adding to its leadership development programs for senior administrators of small and mid-sized private colleges and universities. Given the “graying” of the presidency (nearly half of all CIC presidents are over the age of 60), it is highly likely that in the next ten years a significant number of member presidents will retire. At the same time, many executive search consultants have reported that the typical search for a college president attracts fewer candidates—and fewer well-qualified candidates—than was the case a decade ago. Through a greater understanding of the career patterns and characteristics of college presidents, CIC aims to strengthen the preparation of tomorrow’s college and university presidents.
CIC is grateful to the American Council on Education for providing access to data from the American College President Study.
Funder: American Academic Leadership Institute and Academic Search, Inc.