DataPoints: Race/ethnicity of CEOs


Leadership at community colleges remains more diverse than at other types of colleges and universities, but it is still predominantly White, according to an American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) analysis of survey data of CEOs at institutions of higher education.

Nearly seven in 10 (69%) of community college presidents are White, compared to more than three-quarters (76%) at other institutions responding to the American Council on Education’s 2023 American College Presidents Study.

Black/African American leaders comprise 16% of community college CEOs, compared to 12% among other colleges and universities. Seven percent of two-year college leaders are Hispanic, compared to 5% at non-community colleges, and 4% of community college leaders identify as Asian/Pacific Islander, compared to 3% at other institutions. About 2% of comunity colleges CEOs are American Indian, with no survey respondents from other institutons indicating they are American Indian.

The AACC analysis also examined race and ethnicity by urbanicity. More than half of Hispanic (54%), Black (52%) and Asian or Pacific Islander (50%) CEOs were employed at colleges in cities, while more than half of White CEOs were either at colleges in rural areas (27%) or small towns (25%). About one-quarter (27%) of White presidents lead colleges in urban areas.

For more analysis of the survey and other information on community college presidents, see AACC’s “The State of Community College Leadership: 2023.”

About the Author

Matthew Dembicki
Matthew Dembicki edits Community College Daily and serves as associate vice president of communications for the American Association of Community Colleges.
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