Illustration of three executives walking different paths

Survey Results: Paths to a Private College Presidency

Private colleges presidents are more likely to come from outside of higher education than public college presidents.

A study released today by Deloitte’s Center for Higher Education Excellence in conjunction with Georgia Tech’s Center for 21st Century Universities, titled “Pathways to the University Presidency: The Future of Higher Education Leadership,” found that 56% of college presidents took pathways with all of their employment inside higher education, 43% had employment both inside and outside of higher education, and only 1% took pathways with all of their employment outside of higher education.

We took a more granular look at the career pathways of presidents at the nation’s private colleges and universities in our “Independent College Presidents Survey,” a LAWLOR-RHB collaboration, and found that while the majority of presidents were previously academic administrators, 6.4% of them served outside of higher education in their job immediately preceding their presidency.

Today’s higher education marketplace demands that private college presidents (no matter what career pathway they have taken) be “edupreneurial” in facilitating a culture of innovation to ensure their institution consistently offers a relevant value proposition.