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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Research Article| September 09 2008
Pathways to the Presidency: Biographical Sketches of Women of Color Firsts
Harvard Educational Review (2007) 77 (1): 1–38.
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CAROLINE SOTELLO VIERNES TURNER; Pathways to the Presidency: Biographical Sketches of Women of Color Firsts. Harvard Educational Review 1 April 2007; 77 (1): 1–38. doi: https://doi.org/10.17763/haer.77.1.p831667187v7514w
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