WOMEN are making steady headway in higher education. In...

Salmagundi

September 15, 1992

WOMEN are making steady headway in higher education. In 1991 they earned 54 percent of the 1.1 million bachelor's degrees conferred in the United States and 54 percent of the 336,672 master's degrees. A decade ago, women earned 49 percent of the bachelor's degrees and 50 percent of the $H master's degrees.

Women still trail men in doctor's degrees, according to the U.S. Department of Education. In 1980-1981, they earned 31 percent of the 33,000 doctorates awarded nationally. Last year, they earned 37 percent of the 39,500 doctorates.

Women are also inching up into the highest ranks of higher education. The American Council on Education reports a slow but steady rise in the number of women chief executive officers. There were 148 in 1975. Last year there were 348, up from 328 in 1989. This represents 12 percent of the nation's 3,000 or so accredited colleges and universities.

It's also a net increase of only 20 in two years. "The only type of institution where women presidents seem to be replacing themselves consistently is women's colleges," said Donna Shavlik, director of the association's Office of Women in Higher Education. "Until institutions begin to choose women to follow women, the growth will be steady but not dramatic."

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