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Abstract

The leadership characteristics of African-American female college and university presidents have rarely been studied. The lack of research in this area is due, in part, to the absence of African-American females in leadership positions at four year higher education institutions. A contributing factor to the shortage of African-American female top level administrators is the "double whammy," or belonging to two groups that are discriminated against, African-Americans and females. The wage gap, institutional kinship, the old boy system, and role prejudice (a preconceived preference for specific behavior by the visibly identifiable group) are factors that have proved prohibitive to the ascension of African-American females to leadership positions in higher education. Furthermore, researchers that have studied the leadership characteristics of African-American female college and university presidents generally suggest that these women adopt the leadership characteristics of the culture at the institution where they serve.

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