Harvard Educational Review
  1. Spring 2007 Issue »

    Pathways to the Presidency

    Biographical Sketches of Women of Color Firsts

    Caroline Sotello Viernes Turner,Arizona State University
    Abstract: According to recent data, only 3 percent of all college and university presidents are women of color. While the numbers remain disturbingly low, some of these women of color are making history as the “first” of their gender, race, and ethnicity to become president of a public, baccalaureate degree–granting college or university. In this article, Caroline Sotello Viernes Turner presents biographical sketches of three of these women. They are acknowledged to be the first Mexican American, Native American, and Asian Pacific/Asian American women who are presidents of such colleges in the United States. Women from these respective racial and ethnic groups have become university presidents only recently. Using in-depth interviews and cross-case comparisons, the author examines the paths these women presidents have taken and how their narratives contribute important information about women of color in higher education administration. She asserts that from their stories we can learn about the “pathway to the presidency” these women have helped to forge, about the ways universities can help support the leadership development of women of color, and about how to foster leadership in other women of color who aspire to be college presidents. Turner concludes that these women of color “firsts” continue to make important contributions to the field of higher education, and to pave the way for other women.

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    Caroline Sotello Viernes Turner is a professor in the Division of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies and the Lincoln Professor of Ethics and Education at Arizona State University. Turner studies access and equity in higher education; faculty gender, race, and ethnic diversity; minority-serving institutions; organizational change; and leadership in academe. She is the author of Diversifying the Faculty: A Guidebook for Search Committees (2002) and coauthor of Faculty of Color in Academe: Bittersweet Success (with S. L. Myers Jr., 2000).


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    Spring 2007 Issue

    Abstracts

    Pathways to the Presidency
    Biographical Sketches of Women of Color Firsts
    Caroline Sotello Viernes Turner,Arizona State University
    Financial Aid
    A Broken Bridge to College Access?
    Bridget Terry Long, Harvard Graduate School of Education and Erin Riley, Consultant
    The Effect of Loans on Students’ Degree Attainment: Differences by Student and Institutional Characteristics
    Dongbin Kim,University of Kansas

    Book Notes