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How diverse are college and university governing boards today?

Gender

In 2010, men outnumbered women by more than two to one on governing boards of both independent and public institutions. Approximately 71.6 percent of all public board members and 69.8 percent of all board members from independent institutions were male.

The percentage of women holding seats on boards of public institutions increased steadily for several decades, from 4 percent in 1917 to 23 percent in 1985, and peaked at 30 percent in 1997.  Numbers declined slightly after 1997 with women holding 29 percent of public board seats in 2004 and 28.4 percent in 2010. 

The percentage of women on governing boards of independent institutions has continued to increase over the past four decades, though the rate of change has slowed in recent years.  In 2010, women comprised 30.2 percent of boards of independent institutions, a 1.8 percent increase from 2004.

Race and Ethnicity

The 2010 board composition survey results show that 74.3 percent of public institution boards and 87.5 percent of boards at independent colleges were white.  

In 2010, 23.1 percent of board members of public institutions were racial and ethnic minorities, including 15.8 percent African Americans or Blacks, 4.1 percent Hispanics and Latinos, 2.1 percent Asians and Pacific Islanders, 0.7 percent American Indians and Alaskan Natives, 0.4 percent other races and 2.6 percent unknown races. Minority trustees at public institutions increased from 21.3 percent in 2004 to 23.1 percent in 2010.

In 2010, 12.5 percent of board members at independent institutions were racial and ethnic minorities, including 7.4 percent African Americans or Blacks, 2.4 percent Hispanics or Latinos, 1.6 percent Asians and Pacific Islanders, 0.4 percent American Indians and Alaskan Natives, and 0.7 percent other races. Minority trustees at independent institutions increased from 11.9 percent in 2004 to 12.5 percent in 2010.

 

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