Date of Award

Spring 5-21-2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

PhD Higher Education Leadership, Management, Policy


Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Martin Finkelstein, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Elaine Walker, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Gerard Babo, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Eunyoung Kim, Ph.D.


Female Faculty Promotion, Gender Inequality, Women in Research Universities, Women Professors


While there is evidence of substantial progress in the past generation in women’s representation on college and university faculties, the data shows female underrepresentation persists – at the higher academic ranks and is greatest at the Research Universities. Schuster & Finkelstein (2016), report an increase from 342,059 to 717,359 in the head count for female faculty - a 109.7% overall growth between 1993 and 2013. Data from IPEDS, however, shows that women’s proportionate representation at the rank of full professor increased only from 13% to 24% at Doctoral/Research Universities between 1993 and 2013 and indeed the proportion of all women faculty who hold the rank of full professor has stayed about the same at 15% over the twenty-year period. Further analysis of the same data shows a wide variation among research universities with certain institutions having a high representation (34% and up) of female full professors while other institutions have a low representation (18% and below) of female full professors. The purpose of this study was to determine the factors that account for some Doctoral/Research Universities having a high representation of female full professors and other Doctoral/ Research Universities having a low representation. Using Structural/Institutional data from IPEDS for 55 Research Institutions as well as Human Capital data from a survey administered to female faculty in the institutions, the study employed logistic regression analyses to test the predictive power of structural / organizational characteristics of the institutions as well as human capital characteristics of the female faculty in attainment of full professor rank. The regression analyses identified primary job task, experience, dependent children and marital status as human capital characteristics significantly predicting of full professor attainment. The significant structural/organizational predictors of representation of female faculty at the full professor rank included unions, prestige, STEM orientation, female leadership, females in management, and average salaries.