Race and Ethnicity of College and University Presidents Over Time

In 1986, Whites represented 91.9 percent of all college and university presidents. While Whites remained the majority in 2016, their representation declined as the presidency became more racially and ethnically diverse. In 2016, 83.2 percent of all presidents identified as White and 16.8 percent identified as people of color.

College and University Presidents, by Race and Ethnicity, Select Years: 1986 and 2016


American Council on Education, American College President Study 2017

Data on individuals of more than one race were not collected prior to 2001.

In 2016, ACE introduced a new racial and ethnic category to allow presidents to identify as Middle Eastern or Arab American.