Social Origins of Higher Education Administrators
Abstract

Who controls education and whose interests does education represent? Using two national samples of two-year and four-year college and university administrators, the authors identify the social origins of higher education administrators as a beginning point for answering these questions. They conclude that the leadership of American colleges and universities has become more diverse over time—but not as much as we might expect. The proportion of administrators from working-class backgrounds has not increased; and the hundreds of administrative positions newly created during the 1970s have not, apparently, welcomed individuals from working class backgrounds, women, or minorities. The social origins of two-year and four-year administrators are also more similar than previously reported.


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