Academic Leadership: The Online Journal


During the past few decades, research and scholarly dialogue focused on the topic of academic careers has increased. Although academe is just one of numerous industries whose career systems might be studied, it is a large and growing sector (Baruch & Hall, 2004). And, according to Baruch and Hall (2004), “with the accelerated level of available knowledge and the pressing need to develop human capital, there is a growing need for research on careers in academe” (p. 237). Rubin (2004) wrote of the development, attraction, and retention of outstanding leaders as one of eight fundamental challenges in higher education today. Yet, little research exploring the development of existing university presidents has been published, and even less on the development of women leaders in academia. It is imperative that the backgrounds, experiences, and perceptions of women presidents be studied so that commonalities can be discovered. This will assist women interested in personal and career development, as well as the educators, administrators, and consultants who will be designing future leadership development interventions.