Jorge M. Burmicky

University of Texas at Austin

Jorge M. Burmicky is a Ph.D. candidate in the department of Educational Leadership and Policy (ELP). He received a B.A. in International Business from Taylor University and an M.A. in Student Affairs from Ball State University. His research addresses the lack of representation of Latinxs at the highest levels of higher education leadership. Lastly, Jorge grew up in Caracas, Venezuela and immigrated to the U.S. after the military coup d’état attempt in 2002.

Dissertation Title: El Presidente: Examining the Career Pathways of Latinx/a/o College and University Presidents

Dissertation Abstract: Despite the growing number of Latinx students enrolling in postsecondary education, the overwhelming majority of U.S. college presidents across colleges and universities continue to be White males in their early sixties with a doctoral degree. According to the most recent American College President Study administered by the American Council on Education (ACE), less than 17% of college presidents in 2016 came from racial/ethnic minority backgrounds. Further, Latinxs make up for 3.9 percent of the total presidential positions held in 2016. As highlighted by Los Angeles Community College District chancellor, Dr. Francisco Rodriguez, college presidents “have perhaps the best opportunity to eradicate and overcome social and racial injustice and to empower the least educated and economically poorest in our communities”. Hence, as more students of color struggle to see themselves represented at the highest levels of leadership, it is imperative for researchers and policymakers to take a closer look at how to best diversify the landscape of the American college presidency. Using a case study design methodology to obtain detailed and in-depth data through multiple sources of information, the purpose of this study is to understand the professional pathways and agents of influence that have shaped and propelled the careers of Latinx presidents. Ultimately, this study seeks to fill the literature gap on executive leaders of color in higher education as a deliberate effort to diversify the pipeline of college and university presidents in the twenty-first century.