Richard Lapchick: “Students feel disconnect between people of color and women and the administration on college campuses”

The key leadership positions at Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) schools and conferences was even more white and male than in 2014 according to a new study released by The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) at the University of Central Florida.  This year’s report showed slight decreases in the percentage of women and people of color in campus leadership positions. The study, which was authored by Generation W speaker Dr. Richard Lapchick, examined the race and gender of conference commissioners and campus leaders, including college and university presidents, athletics directors and faculty athletics representatives for all 128 FBS institutions. The study also included head football coaches, assistant coaches and student-athletes for the football teams.

richard-lapchick“This year’s increase is so discouraging,” said Lapchick.  “At a time when almost all colleges and universities say they emphasize diversity and inclusion as core values, the fact is that in the 2015-16 report, 89.8 percent of our presidents were white, 86.7 percent of our athletics directors were white, and 100 percent of our conference commissioners were white. College sport remains behind professional sports regarding opportunities for women and people of color for the top jobs.”

While there is no direct correlation between the findings of this study and the current challenges at the University of Missouri, Lapchick feels this lack of leadership diversity can lead to a disconnect between students and administration.  “What seems to have happened at the University of Missouri I have found to be common on many campuses I that I visit,” Lapchick said in an interview with the Associated Press. “Students feel there is a disconnect between people of color and women and the administration on college campuses. Yet you can look on any college website in the country and I would think any one of them would have diversity listed among their key values. But women and people of color would say that there aren’t enough people who look like them in the faculty and in the athletic department.”


Click here to read more about the TIDES study.