institutional rhetoric, cultural constructs of leadership, gender bias, intersectionality, systemic exclusion, structural barriers, gender gap, intersectional discrimination, gender disparity


Historically, women and non-binary conforming individuals have not held executive leadership positions at U.S. institutions of higher education at the same rate as men. And although the presidency or chancellorship may be the single most powerful executive leadership position in U.S. colleges and universities, no research has examined how new presidents or chancellors are announced to the public through official, institutional websites. This study analyzes a three-year dataset (2016–19) of 443 press releases announcing new presidents or chancellors at U.S. institutions, paying close attention to how press releases differ based on gender. Findings reveal that men were more likely to have their families mentioned in the press release (43%) than women (30%), while men were also more likely to be internal candidates, interim candidates, and alumni. Implications for research, practice, and gender equity at the executive level are addressed.