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Educational policy analysis archives.
n Vol. 9, no. 36 (September 26, 2001).
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b Arizona State University ;
Tampa, Fla. :
University of South Florida.
c September 26, 2001
Profile of chief academic officers at four year colleges and universities / Brent D. Cejda [and] Kirsten L. Rewey.
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University of South Florida.
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1 of 20 Education Policy Analysis Archives Volume 9 Number 36September 26, 2001ISSN 1068-2341 A peer-reviewed scholarly journal Editor: Gene V Glass, College of Education Arizona State University Copyright 2001, the EDUCATION POLICY ANALYSIS ARCHIVES. Permission is hereby granted to copy any article if EPAA is credited and copies are not sold. Articles appearing in EPAA are abstracted in the Current Index to Journals in Education by the ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation and are permanently archived in Resources in Education .A Profile of Chief Academic Officers at Four Year C olleges and Universities Brent D. Cejda Texas Tech University Kirsten L. Rewey St. Mary's University of MinnesotaCitation: Cejda, B.D. & Rewey, K.L. (2001, Septembe r 26). A Profile of Chief Academic Officers at Four Year Colleges and Universities. Education Policy Analysis Archives 9 (36). Retrieved [date] from Chief Academic Officer (CAO) is the most common pos ition title before assuming the presidency of a college or university. Results from a national survey are used to develop a profile of th e CAO in each respective Carnegie institutional classification. T he typical CAO in four-year institutions is Caucasian, male, 54 years old, and married. He holds a doctoral degree, most likely in humanities or social sciences, and has held the CAO position for 5 or fewer years. Mos t often, the CAO served as a Dean or Associate Dean in the previous position. All CAOs have classroom experience, but 3% have never taught full-time. With


2 of 20only slight variances among the percentages, these characteristics are similar for each of the respective Carnegie classif ications. Comparisons are also made between the characteristics of presid ents and CAOs. Introduction and Background A critical need of any organization is leadership (Martin & Strauss, 1956). There are a number of titles common to the position that provides academic leadership in colleges and universities, Provost or Vice Presiden t for Academic Affairs are common examples. In this article we use the term chief aca demic officer (CAO) to refer to all individuals who have overall responsibility for the academic component of an institution of higher education. The simple fact that the chief academic officer (CAO) has authority and influence over both the goals and objectives an d the resources dedicated to the instructional program of a college or university po ints to the overall importance of this leadership position (Weingartner, 1996). Given the current state of declining resources and eroding public confidence, effective leadership of the academic program has become a key challenge facing higher education organizatio ns (Martin & Samels, 1997). The challenge is so great that Birnbaum (1992) announce d that in many instances the CAOs impact on an institution was as great, or even grea ter, than that of the president. Who are the people primarily responsible for provi ding academic leadership in higher education institutions? Given the importance of the role, it is interesting that so little attention has been paid to them. Since 1980, only six studies of individuals in the CAO position have been reported in the literature. Three studies reported information on chief academic officers in two-year colleges (Hawth orne, 1994; Twombly, 1988; Vaughan, 1990), two studies included individuals at both twoand four-year institutions (Moden, Miller, & Williford, 1987; Warner, Brazzell Allen, Bostick, & Marin, 1988) and one study was limited to CAOs in four-year inst itutions (Moore, 1983). As this investigation focuses on CAOs at four-year institut ions, only applicable previous research is included to provide a background. Moden, Miller, and Williford (1987) developed a st ratified random sample based on the student FTE size of 3,328 higher education i nstitutions and their branches. Of the 415 institutions surveyed, usable returns were rece ived from 331 (73%). Two-year institutions employed 40% of the respondents. Sligh tly more than four-fifths (81%) of the positions were held by males. The ages of the C AOs ranged from 34 to 67, with a mean of 49 years. Slightly less then one-fourth (22 %) of the CAOs had been in the position for one year or less and 35% reported 5 or more years in office. Warner et al. (1988) surveyed a randomly selected sample of 800 administrators at the level of dean or above. The sample was not r estricted by institutional type, with surveys sent to universities, colleges, community c olleges, and technical schools. A usable response rate of 49% was realized. Of those responding to the query of title of current position, 41 (11%) were CAOs. Results of th e survey, however, are presented for all administrative positions, ranging from assistan t or associate dean to president and chancellor. Moore (1983) surveyed a stratified random sample o f 4,000 line administrators representing 1,600 accredited four-year institution s. Responses were received from 2,896 (73%) administrators in 55 positions. Of the respondents, 151 (5%) were CAOs. The vast majority of CAOs were male (86%), Caucasia n (96%), and married (83%). The ages of the CAOs ranged from 37 to 68, with the maj ority (51%) between the ages of 45


3 of 20and 55. Only 14% of the CAOs had been in the positi on for 11 or more years, with 59% reporting a tenure of 6 or fewer years. Almost all (99%) of the CAOs had earned a doctoral degree. A vast majority (88%) held academi c rank, more than three-fourths (78.6%) were professors, and a majority (60%) were tenured. The American Council on Education (ACE) has presen ted three profiles of the career experiences of presidents from data gathered in 1986, 1990, and 1995. Each of these profiles revealed that chief academic officer was the most common position title before assuming the presidency. In the most recent report (Ross & Green, 1998), CAO was the previous position of 26.5% of the responden ts, followed by president at another institution (19.9%), and deans or their associates (11.9%). Using data provided by the National Center for Edu cational Statistics for the years 1974-81, Rickard (1982) reported that CAOs ha d the highest rate of turnover of top level administrative offices (20%). This trend has not changed as the CAOs experienced an annual turnover rate of 19% for the years 1985-92, again a rate higher than chief business officers, chief student affairs officers, and presidents (Mooney, 1993). Considering the role of the position in the career experiences of presidents, the rate of turnover by position holders, and the impor tance of the position to higher education organizations, the CAO position emerges a s the “next step” in understanding career paths in higher education administration. Th e purpose of this article, therefore, is to add to the research on administrative careers in higher education by developing a profile of chief academic officers at four-year col leges and universities.MethodologySurvey Instrument We contacted Marlene Ross, principal author of the ACE reports, who granted us permission to adapt the ACE President’s Survey to g ather data regarding chief academic officers (M. R. Ross, personal communication, Octob er, 1997). There were three reasons we selected the ACE instrument as a base for our in quiry. First, the three presidential profiles are the most comprehensive data concerning administrative careers in higher education. Second, similarity in instrumentation wo uld allow for comparisons between the experiences of chief academic officers and pres idents. Third, we hoped to encourage other researchers to take a similar approach in exa mining other top-level positions in higher education. Our revised survey instrument, therefore, is based on the same demographic and career experience questions as found on the ACE pre sidential survey with two modifications. First, we asked for the specific pos ition title. Ross and Green (1990) stressed that beyond the general agreement that pre sident or chancellor indicates the chief executive officer, there is little consensus concerning the specific responsibilities associated with administrative titles in higher edu cation. Using data from the 1995 Higher Education Directory Martin and Samels (1997) found that the words vice-president and dean each occurred in the chief academic officer title of approximately 40% of the reporting institutions, wi th provost listed as the title of approximately 16% of the reporting institutions. Se cond, we were interested in the faculty experiences of the CAOs. One measure of con nection to the academic component of the institution is whether or not the CAO holds faculty rank or tenure. While some institutions do not offer rank or tenure to administrators, the practice is still followed in many instances. Further, holding rank o r tenure in the previous position and


4 of 20 the highest faculty rank achieved also provide insi ght to the academic connection. To gather information on faculty experiences, we asked about rank and tenure for the current and two previous positions. In addition we questions on the highest rank achieved and the total years of full-time faculty e xperience. The revised survey instrument was piloted to eight chief academic offi cers, representing the respective Carnegie classifications (1994).Population, Survey Method, and Response The survey was mailed in November of 1997 to the Ch ief Academic Officer at 1372 four-year colleges and universities. This popu lation included all institutions listed in the 1994 Carnegie classifications of higher educ ation, limited to accredited institutions as listed in the 1997 Higher Education Directory An initial follow-up survey was sent in January of 1998. Finally, follow -up by fax and telephone was conducted during May of 1998. Overall, 1058 surveys (77%) were returned. After accounting for positions that were vacant or curren tly filled by individuals with the title of acting or interim and eliminating responses that did not come from the chief academic officer, 971 usable surveys (71%) were returned fro m the population. The usable rate for the respective classifications ranged from a low of 51% (Doctoral Universities I) to a high of 78% (Baccalaureate Colleges I). Table 1 pre sents information regarding the usable return rate. Table 1 Usable Returns by Carnegie ClassificationClassificationNReturn%Research Universities I 88 56 64 Research Universities II 37 23 62 Doctoral Universities I 51 26 51 Doctoral Universities II 58 42 72 Master’s Colleges and Universities I 430 305 71 Master’s Colleges and Universities II 89 68 76 Baccalaureate Colleges I 165 128 78 Baccalaureate Colleges II 454 323 71 Total 1372 971 71


5 of 20 Data analysis We created eight databases for each respective Carn egie classification. Where possible, responses were coded numerically and a wr itten guide of coded categories was created for reference. In an additional effort to a ssure reliability, we hired individuals independent of the study to enter the data and addi tional independent observers to substantiate the databases. For the Carnegie classi fications with fewer than 150 responses (RI, RII, DI, DII, MII, BI) the observers verified all survey information to the databases. For the Carnegie classifications with re sponses above 300 (MI, BII) the observers selected a random sample of 50% of the su rveys to compare to the databases. Overall 658 (68%) of the surveys were examined, wit h errors in the database identified for 12 instruments. This resulted in a 98% reliabil ity rating for the data. Personal Characteristics Information on the characteristics of sex, race, a ge and martial status is presented in Table 2. The characteristics of spousal employme nt and religious affiliation appear in Figures 1 and 2, respectively. Table 2 Demographic Profile by Carnegie ClassificationCharacteristicsRIRIIDIDIIMIMIIBIBII Sex (percentage)N=50 N=23 N=27 N=43 N=299 N=70 N=126 N=318 Male 78 87 67 88 75 73 71 74 Female 22 13 33 12 25 27 29 26 Race/Ethinicity (percentage)N=51 N=23 N=27 N=43 N=296 N=70 N=128 N=320 Asian -----3 1 1 African-American 6 -4 5 7 6 4 6 Caucasian 94 100 96 95 90 90 95 91 Hispanic (non-black) ----1 --1 American Indian ---->1 ---Multiracial ---->1 --1


6 of 20 Other ---->1 ---Age (years) N=48 N=22 N=25 N=41 N=279 N=67 N=119 N=318 Mean 55 56 64 56 54 55 52 53 Median 55 56 56 56 54 55 52 53 Mode 55 57 56 56 54 55 53 53 Range 43-66 46-70 41-63 45-70 37-68 41-68 37-67 34-73 Marital Status (percentage)N=50 N=23 N=27 N=43 N=298 N=70 N=129 N=323 Never married 2 -7 2 6 6 6 6 Religious Order ---2 2 6 -5 Married 96 96 59 86 84 81 86 80 Separated ----1 1 2 1 Divorced 2 4 27 10 6 6 5 7 Widower/Widow --7 -1 -1 1


7 of 20 Figure 1. Employment of Chief Academic Officers Spo uses Figure 2. Religious Affiliation of Chief Academic O fficers Sex and race Twenty-five percent of all CAO respondents were wo men. As indicated in Table


8 of 201, the representation of women in the CAO position ranged from a high of 33% in Doctoral I institutions to a low of 12% in Doctoral II institutions. Members of minority groups held 8% of the CAO positions. African-Americ an CAOs constitute the largest minority group (5.8%), followed by Asian and Hispan ic (.6% respectively), multiracial (.3%), and American Indian (.1%). Members of minori ty groups are most represented in the CAO position at MI and MII institutions. No res pondents from RII institutions indicated that they were members of minority groups Almost one-third (32%) of the minority respondents were female; 44% of African Am erican respondents were female. Age The median and, after rounding, the mean age of th e CAOs was 54 years. Both the youngest (34 years) and the oldest (73 years) r espondents were at BII institutions. Slightly more than two-thirds (70%) of the CAOs wer e between the ages of 40 and 56. Among women, 73% were between the ages of 40 to 56. The mean age of women CAOs is lower than their male counterparts at research i nstitutions (50 to 55 at R-I and 48 to 56 at R-II) and higher than the male CAOs at M-II inst itutions (59 to 55). Only 1% of all respondents were below the age of 40 and no respond ents from Research (I and II), Doctoral (I and II), or Masters II institutions ind icated they were less than 40 years of age. In terms of age, the responses of minority mem bers were similar to the population as a whole. The mean age of minorities was 53 and 7 0% were 56 years old or younger. Marital status, spousal employment, religious affil iation The vast majority of CAOs are married (83%), rangi ng from a high of 96% in the RI and RII categories to a low of 59% in the DI cat egory. Slightly more than 8% of the CAOs have never been married, 2.7% of these indicat ing they were members of religious orders. Among married CAOs, 76% had spous es who were employed. Almost two-thirds (64.5%) of the working spouses were empl oyed in higher education, 17.5% at the same institution as the CAO. Virtually two-thir ds (65.4%) of the spouses were employed on a full-time basis. Spouses of MII CAOs were most likely to work (83%) and were most likely to be employed in higher educa tion (78%). Spouses of RII CAOs were least likely to work (50%). Slightly more than one-half (51%) of the CAOs identified themselves as Baptist, Episcopal, Method ist, Presbyterian or other type of Protestant; 24% were Catholic; 6% were Jewish, and 1% listed themselves as Eastern Orthodox. Among the CAOs who reported memberships i n religious orders, 38% were ordained ministers, 32% were Catholic sisters, and 26% were Catholic priests or brothers.Professional CharacteristicsPosition Title Table 3 presents words most often reported in the titles of chief academic officers. In order to develop these categories, spe cific adjectives such as senior, executive, academic, and instructional were removed Vice President (32%) is the most common title of the CAO, followed by Vice President and Dean (17%), Vice President and Provost (16%), Provost (12%), and Dean (11%). V ice President, Vice President and Provost, and Provost are the only titles found acro ss all of the respective Carnegie classifications.


9 of 20 Table 3 Generic Titles of Chief Academic Officer (percentage by Carnegie Classification)TitleRIRIIDIDIIMIMIIBIBIIVice Chancellor 12.5 --2.4 4.6 4.4 1.6 2.5 Vice Chancellor &Provost 10.7 8.7 -2.4 5.2 2.9 --Vice President 5.4 8.7 23.1 26.2 40.7 39.7 8.6 40.2 Vice President & Provost 41.1 60.9 30.8 42.9 25.6 5.9 5.5 6.2 Vice President & Dean --3.8 2.4 4.9 25.0 37.5 26.0 Provost 30.4 17.4 30.8 16.7 11.5 7.4 14.8 6.5 Provost & Dean --7.7 2.4 1.3 4.4 7.8 3.1 Dean -4.3 -4.8 5.2 10.3 23.4 15.5 Other --3.8 -1.0 1.5 0.8 -Academic Background The field of study of CAOs is presented in Table 4 Overall, more CAOs studied humanities/fine arts (30%), followed by social scie nces (28%), education (15%), and physical/natural sciences (12%). Social sciences em erged as the predominant field of study for four of the respective classifications (R I, DI, DII, BII). Humanities/fine arts were the predominant field of study for three class ifications (MI, MII, BI) and physical/natural sciences was the predominant field in the remaining classification (RII). The Ph.D. was earned by 86% of the CAOs, 9% had bee n awarded the Ed.D., 3% held professional degrees, and 2% reported the master’s as the highest awarded degree. Table 4 CAO Field of Study (percentage by Carnegie Classification)TitleRIRIIDIDIIMIMIIBIBII


10 of 20 Agriculture 3.6 --2.4 ----Biological Sciences 9.1 8.7 -4.8 4.7 6.0 3.1 4.9 Education 5.5 4.3 8.0 11.9 15.8 14.9 3.9 21.4 Engineering 9.1 4.3 4.0 11.9 0.7 ---Health Professions 3.6 --4.8 0.4 3.0 --Medicine 3.6 4.3 -2.4 ----Humanities/Fine Arts 14.5 4.3 32.0 26.2 29.9 35.8 40.9 29.4 Religion/Theology 1.8 ---4.0 4.5 3.1 4.5 Physical/Natural Sciences 20.0 47.8 12.0 4.8 14.4 13.4 7.9 7.8 Social Sciences 25.5 26.1 44.0 30.8 25.8 19.4 40.2 29.8 Law 3.6 ---0.4 ---Other ----4.0 3.0 0.9 2.3 Rank and Tenure Information concerning faculty rank and tenure is presented in Table 5. It is more common for CAOs to hold rank than to hold tenure. O f the CAOs responding to this query, 89% held faculty rank with 64% also holding tenure. This difference comes primarily from the MII and BII classifications, eac h with more than a 35% difference between the number of CAOs holding rank and the num ber holding tenure. Full professor is the most common rank, reported by 73% of the CAOs. In the immediate prior position, the same percenta ge held faculty rank (89%), but a greater percentage (70%) also held tenure. Again, the greatest difference in numbers holding rank and numbers holding tenure are in the MII and BII classifications. Full professor was the rank held by 63% of the responden ts. In response to the question about highest faculty rank ever held, 74% reported full p rofessor, 20% reported Associate Professor, and 5% reported Assistant Professor. Table 5 Rank and Tenure Characteristics (percentage by Carnegie Classification)


11 of 20 CharacteristicRIRIIDIDIIMIMIIBIBIICAO PositionN=52 N=23 N=27 N=43 N=303 N=70 N=127 N=319 Hold Tenure 98.1 100 85.2 93.0 66.3 52.9 72.4 47.0 Hold Rank 98.1 100 92.6 100 87.1 90.0 96.1 84.0 1st Prior PositionN=52 N=22 N=26 N=42 N=302 N=70 N=128 N=313 Hold Tenure 98.1 95.5 88.5 85.7 74.2 58.6 76.6 55.6 Hold Rank 98.1 100 92.3 92.9 87.4 91.4 95.3 83.1 2nd Prior PositionN=49 N=23 N=25 N=41 N=282 N=67 N=99 N=276 Hold Tenure 95.9 100 96.0 90.2 88.7 85.1 90.9 80.0 Hold Rank 98.0 91.3 88.0 70.7 78.0 62.7 68.7 55.8 Highest Rank HeldN=51 N=22 N=26 N=41 N=286 N=64 N=118 N=279 Professor 100 100 88.5 87.8 76.9 75.0 74.6 60.6 Associate Professor --7.7 9.8 19.2 21.9 20.3 29.0 Assistant Professor ---2.4 3.1 3.1 3.4 10.0 Instructor ----0.4 -1.7 0.4 Lecturer --3.8 -----Emeritus Professor ----0.4 ---Years in Positions As shown in Table 6, there were new CAOs in six of the eight classifications. In four classifications (RI, MI, BI, BII) there were i ndividuals who have 25 or more years of experience. The majority of CAOs, however, have not occupied the position for an extended period of time. Using 1997-98 as the curre nt year, 61% of all CAOs have spent five or fewer years in office. Among the RII instit utions, 87% of the CAOs have been in the position for 5 or fewer years, the highest perc entage of the respective classifications. In the MII category, 57% of the CAOs have been in t he position for 5 or fewer years, the lowest percentage of the respective classifications The length of time spent in the two prior position s is also shown in Table 6. As with the CAO position, there is a wide range in the number of years of experience. It is important to note that not all respondents held two positions prior to the CAO


12 of 20 appointment. For example, 89 CAOs moved to the posi tion directly from a faculty appointment. Many of these individuals represent th e greater number of years spent in the immediate previous position. In terms of averag e years of experience, there is not much difference between the first and second prior positions among the CAOs. As with the first prior position, those CAOs with the great er numbers of years held a faculty appointment in the second prior position. Table 6 also reveals differences in the CAOs fulltime teaching experience across the respective Carnegie classifications. In fact, 2 8 CAOs had no full-time faculty experience prior to the CAO position. All of the re spondents in the RI and RII classification had full-time teaching experience. T hese two classifications also included the greatest length of full-time faculty experience with 21 years serving as the midpoint for the majority of respondents in each respective R classification. On the other hand, 12 to 15 years marked the midpoint of full-time facult y experience for the remaining Carnegie classifications. Further analysis of fulltime faculty experience indicates that in three classifications, more than three-fourths of t he CAOs had greater than 10 years of full-time faculty experience; BI (79%), RII (78%), and RI (93%).Table 6 Years in Position by Carnegie ClassificationCharacteristicRIRIIDIDIIMIMIIBIBIICurrent PositionN=51N=23N=27N=43N=302N=70N=128N=319Mean 62554655 Median 41345334 Mode 30341121 Range 1-300-100-130-180-290-231-310-32 1st Prior PositionN=51N=22N=26N=42N=299N=70N=125N=308Mean 65556687 Median 44555555 Mode 33563232 Range 1-301-141-101-101-281-251-301-44 2nd Prior PositionN=49N=23N=24N=40N=279N=65N=101N=273Mean 65686686 Median 54565555 Mode 63255443 Range 1-251-171-202-311-271-211-311-37 Full-time FacultyN=52N=23N=26N=42N=290N=67N=118N=288Mean 2119131614131613 Median 2121121513121512 Mode 144161510*1510


13 of 20 Range 7-384-340-300-360-340-300-370-38* Multiple modesCareer Paths Tables 7 and 8 present the title of the first and s econd previous position. Dean is the most common title of the position prior to CAO (36%), followed by CAO at another institution (17%), full-time faculty (14%), and uni versity administration (12%). Full-time faculty is the most common title of the s econd position prior to CAO (26%), followed by unit administration (21%), college/scho ol administration (18%), and university administration (16%). It is important to note that not all CAOs had two previous positions. For example, 33% of the CAOs at BI institutions followed a simple career path moving from full-time faculty to CAO. Lateral movement, from CAO at one institution to t he same position at another institution, was found in each respective Carnegie classification. The greatest extent of lateral movement from the first prior to the curren t position was in the MII classification (34%). For a small percentage of respondents (5%), the current position represents the third CAO appointment.Table 7 First Previous Position (percentages by Carnegie Classification)TitleRIRIIDIDIIMIMIIBIBIIChief Academic Officer8.930.419.221.415.733.814.816 .1 President or other VP5.44.33.8-----1.91.5-----3.4Dean and Asst/Assoc53.634.850.038.141.326.527.333.1University Administration*12.521.719.216.708.45.98. 66.5 College/School Admin**5.4---------- Administration***5.4----- Faculty7. Higher Education1.8---------------2.3-----0 .93.7. *Positions grouped as University Administration i ncludes assistant to president, assistant to chancellor, and director of institutional research.**Positions grouped as College/School Administratio n includes director of graduate studies (for a specific college or school) and director of field e xperiences. ***Positions grouped as Unit Administration include chair, director, coordinator, or head of a department or program.Table 8 Second Previous Position (percentages by Carnegie Classification)


14 of 20 TitleRIN=56RIIN=23DIN=26DIIN=42MIN=305MIIN=65BIN=78BIIN=239Chief Academic Officer---------- or other VP1.84.33.8-----1.3----------3.3Dean and Asst/Assoc21.421.723. Admin.*8.913.015.419. Admin.**16.117.415.419. 6.3 Unit Administration***19.630.47.728.620.320.029.518 .4 Full-time Faculty28.613.030.826.218.426.244.931.4Outside Higher Educ.3.6----------------------------------*Positions grouped as University Administration inc lude assistant to president, assistant to chancellor, and director of institutional research. **Positions grouped as College/School Administratio n include director of graduate studies (for a specific college or school) and director of field e xperiences. ***Positions grouped as Unit Administration include chair, director, coordinator, or head of a department or program. As shown in Table 9, slightly more than the majorit y of CAOs (53%) were internal candidates for the position. In terms of t he respective classifications, internal candidates are most prevalent at RII institutions ( 74%) and least prevalent at DI institutions (38%). The vast majority of CAOs (88%) stayed within the respective Carnegie classifications in moving to the CAO position. Only 2% came to the position from outside higher education and only 1% moved to the C AO position from a two-year institution.Table 9 Movement by Carnegie ClassificationClassificationExternalInternal N%N% RI18323868RII6261774DI16621038DII17402560MI334916253MII33493551BI68536047BII1534717053Total4544751753


15 of 20Discussion and Conclusions Developing a profile of the CAO was the primary pur pose of this study. The typical CAO in four-year institutions is Caucasian, male, 54 years old, and married. He holds a doctoral degree, most likely in humanities or social sciences, and has held the CAO position for 5 or fewer years. Most often, the CAO served as a Dean or Associate Dean in the previous position. As expected, the vas t majority of CAOs have held faculty appointments, although a few (less than 3%) have ne ver taught full-time. With only slight variances among the percentages, these demog raphic characteristics are similar for each of the respective Carnegie classifications. As mentioned earlier, one of our purposes in adapt ing the ACE Presidential Survey was to allow for comparisons between CAOs an d presidents. A demographic description of the typical office holder for both p ositions is quite similar—a married, Caucasian male in his mid-50s who identifies himsel f with a Protestant religion. We did find demographic differences between female and min ority presidents and CAOs. In addition, differences in spousal employment pattern s between the positions of president and CAO were noted. In 1995, females constituted 17.2% of the presiden ts at four-year institutions. Their largest representation is found at baccalaure ate (BI and BII) and master’s (MI and MII) institutions, females comprising 18.8% of each In 1997, females comprised 25.0% of the CAOs at four-year institutions. The represen tation of female CAOs is also greatest at baccalaureate and master’s institutions, but the percentages are substantially higher, 27.0% at baccalaureate and 25.5% at masters. The representation of women in faculty and adminis trative positions has been a concern of higher education for a number of years ( Aisenberg & Harrington, 1988; Barrax, 1985). The percentage of female CAOs provid es two conclusions from differing perspectives. On one hand, the fact that a greater percentage of females are represented among CAOs leads to the conclusion that progress in representation is being made and that there is the possibility of a greater number o f female presidents. On the other hand, the greatest proportion of female CAOs are found in the Carnegie classifications with the greatest proportion of female presidents: bacca laureate and master’s institutions. Thus, it can also be concluded that there remains a "ceiling" for female inclusion in top-level administrative positions at doctoral and research institutions. Minorities represented 10.3% of four-year college presidents in 1995. Their largest representation is at master’s institutions (48.7% of all minorities). Almost three-fourths (72.3%) of the minority presidents ar e African-American. In 1998, minorities made up 8% of the four-year CAOs. Their largest representation is at master’s institutions (46.7% of all minorities). Virtually t hree-fourths (74.7%) of the minority CAOs are African-American. The representation of minority groups in faculty a nd administrative positions has also been a higher education concern (Frances & Men sal, 1981; Moore, 1982). Our findings do not indicate that this concern is being addressed. As there are fewer minorities in the CAO position, an increase in the number moving from CAO to the presidency is not likely. Almost one-half of the mi norities are employed at master’s institutions, indicating a need for efforts to iden tify and facilitate potential minority academic leaders at the other institutional types. Moreover, African-Americans are the predominate minority representative. The need to pr omote representation from other minority groups is obvious. A difference in the employment patterns of CAO and president spouses was also identified. The vast majority of presidents (84.9%) and CAOs (83.0%) are married.


16 of 20Among those married, substantially more spouses of CAOs work (76.0%) compared to working spouses of presidents (52.7%). Roughly twothirds of the working spouses work full-time, 65.4% of CAO spouses and 68.8% of p resident spouses. More CAO spouses are employed in higher education (64.5% to 44.2%), but more president spouses are employed at the same institution (35.2% to 17.5 %). It is quite possible that factors related to spousal employment influence the selecti on of college and university presidents. CAOs who aspire to the presidency would be wise to recognize this possibility and discuss ramifications with their sp ouse before actively entering the job market. There are three key differences in the professiona l characteristics of presidents and CAOs. One difference is the number of years in office. In 1995, Presidents averaged 7 years in office. More than one-third (38%) had be en in the position 5 or fewer years and one-half (51%) had held the position for 6 year s or more. In 1998, CAOs averaged 5 years in office. Almost two-thirds (61%) had been i n the position 5 or fewer years. This finding supports previous research indicating the C AO position has a high rate of turn-over (Mooney, 1993; Rickard, 1982). A second important difference between presidents a nd CAOs is in their movement into the position. Almost three-fourths (7 2%) of the presidents were external candidates for the position. Slightly more then one -half (53%) of the CAOs were internal candidates for the position. This finding suggests that institutions have established different boundaries for candidacy as a president or a CAO. Organizational theorists indicate that when specific needs or conn ections are desired, candidates will most often be external (Scott, 1998). It appears th at the boundary for the CAO position is more narrow than that for presidential candidate s. The greatest difference in professional characteri stics, however, was faculty experience. Slightly more than one-fourth (27%) of the presidents had spent no time in the classroom. Those with teaching experience avera ged 7 years as faculty members. All of the CAOs had teaching experience, although 3% ha d not served in a full-time faculty position. These individuals averaged 15 years of fa culty experience. Martin and Samels (1997) note that, over time, the role and responsib ility of the CAO has changed. Our conclusion, however, is that there continues to be an extremely close connection between faculty experience and the position of CAO. Although we can find no research for support, a number of colleagues have indicated that fundraising rather than academic experience has become the most desirable characteri stic of presidential candidates. If this observation is correct, we expect to see a dec rease in the number of presidents who were previously CAOs. Our final reason for adapting the ACE Presidential Survey was to encourage a similar approach in other studies of top-level admi nistrative positions in higher education. We found both similarities in and differ ences between the characteristics of presidents and CAOs. Realizing that there are diffe rences in career experiences, Twombly (1990) pointed out that an important charac teristic of higher education is the existence of multiple administrative hierarchies. T here is an academic administrative hierarchy responsible for the central mission of th e institution (i.e., teaching, research, service) and other administrative hierarchies respo nsible for functions that support the central mission (i.e., students affairs, finance, i nstitutional advancement). Leadership in higher education continues to be an important topic. Developing profiles of individuals who occupy the top-level ad ministration of colleges and universities and identifying specific career experi ences will provide insight to institutions searching for leaders as well as indiv iduals who aspire to administrative appointments. There is sufficient evidence to concl ude that there is not a single


17 of 20administrative hierarchy in higher education. Conti nued, longitudinal research on the presidency and CAO will identify changes in demogra phic characteristics and career experiences. Additional research on other top-level positions is warranted and will add to the body of knowledge concerning higher educatio n administration.ReferencesAisenberg, N. & Harrington, M. (1988). Women of academe: Outsiders in the sacred grove Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press. Barrax, J. D. (1985). A comparative career profile of female and male university administrators. Journal of the National Associationof Women Deans, Administrators, and Counselors, 48 (2), 26-31. Birnbaum, R. (1992). How academic leadership works: Understanding succes s and failure in the college presidency San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching (1994). A classification of institutions of higher education Berkley, CA: Author. Frances, C. & Mensal, R. F. (1981). Women and minor ities in administration of higher education institutions. Journal of the College and University Personnel Ass ociation, 32 (3), 177.Hawthorne, E. M. (1994). Leaders in teaching and le arning: A profile of chief academic officers in 2-year colleges. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 18 269-278.Martin, N. H., & Strauss, A. L. (1956). Patterns of mobility within industrial organizations. Journal of Business, 29 (2), 101-110. Martin, J., Samels, J. E., & Associates. (1997). First among equals: The role of the chief academic officer Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press. Moden, G. O., Miller, R. I., & Williford, A. M. (19 87, May). The role, scope, and functions of the chief academic officer Paper presented at the annual forum of The Association for Institutional Research, Kansas City MO. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 293 441)Mooney, C. F. (February 10, 1993). Study examines t urnover rates in 12 campus jobs. Chronicle of Higher Education p. A16. Moore, K. M. (1982). Women and minorities: Leaders in transition Center for the Study of Higher Education Report No. 83-310, University P ark, PA: Pennsylvania State University and The American Council on Education. ( ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 225 459)Moore, K. M. (1983). The top-line: A report on presidents’, provosts’, a nd deans’ careers Center for the Study of Higher Education Report N o. 83-711, University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University and The American Council on Education. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 231 301)


18 of 20Rickard, S. T. (1982). Turnover at the top: A study of the chief student affairs officer. NASPA Journal, 20 (2), 36-41. Ross, M. & Green, M.F. (1998). The American College President: 1998 Edition Washington, D.C.: American Council on Education.Scott, W. R. (1998). Organizations: Rational, natural and open systems (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.Twombly, S. B. (1988). Administrative labor markets : A test of the existence of internal labor markets in two-year colleges. Journal of Higher Education, 59 668-689. Twombly, S. B. (1990). Career maps and institutiona l highways. In K. M. Moore and S. B. Twombley (Eds.), Administrative careers and the marketplace (pp. 5-18). New Directions for Higher Education, no. 72. San Franci sco: Jossey-Bass. Vaughan, G. B. (1990). Pathway to the presidency: Community college deans of instruction Washington, D.C.: Community College Press. Warner, R. L., Brazzell, J., Allen, R., Bostick, S. & Marin, P. (1988). Career paths in higher education administration Oakland University Chapter of the American Counci l on Education National Identification Program, Caree r Paths Research Committee, Rochester, MI: Oakland University. (ERIC Document R eproduction Service No: ED 294 506)Weingartner, R. (1996). Fitting form to function: A primer on the organizat ion of academic institutions Phoenix, AZ: Oryx Press.About the AuthorsBrent D. CejdaCollege of EducationTexas Tech UniversityBox 41071Lubbock, Texas79409-1071Brent D. Cejda is an Assistant Professor and Coordi nator of the Higher Education Program at Texas Tech University. His research on c areers has focused on the position of chief academic officer at both twoand four-yea r institutions. E-mail: Brent.Cejda@ttu.eduKirsten L. ReweyDepartment of PsychologySt. Mary's University of Minnesota700 Terrace Heights, Box 1464Winona, Minnesota 55987Kirsten L. Rewey is an Assistant Educational Specia list in the Department of Psychology at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cit ies. Her recent research has focused on undergraduate writing styles and effective prese ntation styles for the classroom.


19 of 20 E-mail: klrewey@umn.eduCopyright 2001 by the Education Policy Analysis ArchivesThe World Wide Web address for the Education Policy Analysis Archives is General questions about appropriateness of topics o r particular articles may be addressed to the Editor, Gene V Glass, or reach him at College of Education, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 8 5287-0211. (602-965-9644). The Commentary Editor is Casey D. C obb: .EPAA Editorial Board Michael W. Apple University of Wisconsin Greg Camilli Rutgers University John Covaleskie Northern Michigan University Alan Davis University of Colorado, Denver Sherman Dorn University of South Florida Mark E. Fetler California Commission on Teacher Credentialing Richard Garlikov Thomas F. Green Syracuse University Alison I. Griffith York University Arlen Gullickson Western Michigan University Ernest R. House University of Colorado Aimee Howley Ohio University Craig B. Howley Appalachia Educational Laboratory William Hunter University of Calgary Daniel Kalls Ume University Benjamin Levin University of Manitoba Thomas Mauhs-Pugh Green Mountain College Dewayne Matthews Education Commission of the States William McInerney Purdue University Mary McKeown-Moak MGT of America (Austin, TX) Les McLean University of Toronto Susan Bobbitt Nolen University of Washington Anne L. Pemberton Hugh G. Petrie SUNY Buffalo Richard C. Richardson New York University Anthony G. Rud Jr. Purdue University Dennis Sayers California State University—Stanislaus Jay D. Scribner University of Texas at Austin Michael Scriven Robert E. Stake University of Illinois—UC


20 of 20 Robert Stonehill U.S. Department of Education David D. Williams Brigham Young UniversityEPAA Spanish Language Editorial BoardAssociate Editor for Spanish Language Roberto Rodrguez Gmez Universidad Nacional Autnoma de Mxico Adrin Acosta (Mxico) Universidad de J. Flix Angulo Rasco (Spain) Universidad de Teresa Bracho (Mxico) Centro de Investigacin y DocenciaEconmica-CIDEbracho Alejandro Canales (Mxico) Universidad Nacional Autnoma Ursula Casanova (U.S.A.) Arizona State Jos Contreras Domingo Universitat de Barcelona Erwin Epstein (U.S.A.) Loyola University of Josu Gonzlez (U.S.A.) Arizona State Rollin Kent (Mxico)Departamento de InvestigacinEducativa-DIE/ Mara Beatriz Luce (Brazil)Universidad Federal de Rio Grande do Sul-UFRGSlucemb@orion.ufrgs.brJavier Mendoza Rojas (Mxico)Universidad Nacional Autnoma deMxicojaviermr@servidor.unam.mxMarcela Mollis (Argentina)Universidad de Buenos Humberto Muoz Garca (Mxico) Universidad Nacional Autnoma deMxicohumberto@servidor.unam.mxAngel Ignacio Prez Gmez (Spain)Universidad de Daniel Schugurensky (Argentina-Canad)OISE/UT, Simon Schwartzman (Brazil)Fundao Instituto Brasileiro e Geografiae Estatstica Jurjo Torres Santom (Spain)Universidad de A Carlos Alberto Torres (U.S.A.)University of California, Los