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TEMPLATE DESIGN © Career Pathways of Athletic Directors: Consideration of the Impact of Diversity Lenora E. Armstrong, Ed.D. – Norfolk State University, Norfolk, VA AAHPERD National Convention and Expo, St. Louis, MO April ABSTRACT PURPOSE: This study explored career pathways for becoming an athletic director (AD) at National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Divisions I, II, and, III member institutions with consideration of gender and race/ethnicity. METHOD: The study employed an exploratory, descriptive research design using a quantitative electronic survey tapping a census of all ADs of NCAA Divisions I, II, and III. The survey sought demographic data from which career pathways were determined. Responses were obtained from 269 of 966 respondents for a 28% response rate. Descriptive and Chi-square statistics were used for data analysis. Results portrayed demographic characteristics, career pathways, and the relationship between variables identified in the research questions and the hypotheses. RESULTS: Findings reinforced existing scholarship regarding the specific AD demographics of age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, and sports affiliation, as well as number of years in key positions. Results from the descriptive analysis indicated men were more widely represented than women as ADs, with White men appearing in the greatest number in this post. White women and men were not distributed equally across the NCAA Divisions; women were more likely to serve as ADs in Division III institutions. Other categories of race/ethnicity include Blacks/Non-Hispanics, Hispanic/Latinos, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, Asian, and those who self-identified as two or more races. The Masters was the most common highest degree earned. Education was the most common study field at both the undergraduate level and at the level of the highest degree earned. Across the highest degree earned, education was followed by sport administration/ management, business, science and technology, arts, communications, law, and medicine. CONCLUSIONS: The study underscored the low distribution of race/ethnicity and gender among ADs across NCAA Divisions, with women disproportionally located in Division III institutions. Those ADs who have advanced degrees beyond the bachelor’s degree are primarily credentialed in the fields of education and sport. There were more similarities than differences among the career pathways of ADs across the three NCAA divisions. Five sports emerged as involving the largest number of ADs having been college athletes and head coaches in football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, baseball and softball. The pathways indicated that team sports played and coached versus individual sports played and coached were the key thresholds for advancement to the AD position. INTRODUCTION INTRODUCTION (cont’d) An Overview of Women in Collegiate Sports Administration While women hold a growing number of the total jobs in collegiate athletic administration, they were not well represented in the senior positions. Women represented over 57% of the students on campus, 34.9% of the athletic administrative staffs, and yet only 19.3% of ADs were women in 2010 (Acosta & Carpenter, 2010). The increase of women in athletic administration was not exceeding the growth of the total athletic administration pool (Acosta & Carpenter, 2002). An Overview of Minority Men in Collegiate Sports Administration The advancement of minority men in collegiate sports administration lagged behind that of White women, albeit with similar barriers and political constraints to advancement (Abney & Richey, 1992). An Overview of Minority Women in Collegiate Sports Administration Although minority women have made strides in intercollegiate athletics, few have achieved positions in athletic administration in general, or in AD positions specifically. Minority women in AD roles ranged from 0.6% for Blacks and 0.4% for other minorities in to 2.1% for Blacks and 0.6% for minorities in (NCAA, 2010). The Problem and Setting: This study addressed the typical career pathways to the AD position that may have hindered diversity among the personnel in athletic administrative positions within colleges and universities. The problem of research was that there was limited scholarship about career pathways to the AD position, and virtually no information about issues of gender and race/ethnicity relating to career pathways. METHODS METHODS (cont’d) To answer Research Question 1, descriptive statistics (mean, standard deviation, and frequency distributions) were used to provide more detailed portrayals of the samples surveyed. Reported demographic characteristics included: age, gender, race/ethnicity, highest degree earned and major, varsity athlete, varsity sport coached, age upon assuming first job in athletic administration, NCAA division affiliation, and number of years in present position. To answer Research Question 2, descriptive statistics were used to report the frequencies and percentages of the pathways of becoming an athletic administrator. These percentage groups represented career pathways for analysis. A number was assigned to each group (e.g., 1 = group with highest frequency). To answer Research Question 3, the Chi-Square test of independence was conducted to assess the relationship among the pathways of becoming an athletic administrator (determined for Research Question 2) and (a) gender, (b) race/ethnicity, and (c) division. Gender, race/ethnicity, and division constituted independent variables, and career path categories constituted dependent variables. To assess the relationships among categorical variables, this statistical test was deemed the most appropriate. The data were cross tabulated to show a side-by- side comparison of two or more survey questions to determine how the data were interrelated (Survey Monkey, 2011). A significance level of.05 (e.g., 95% confidence interval) was used for this study because it is the standard in educational studies (Fraenkel & Wallen, 2003). This probability level reflects the maximum risk the researcher is willing to take that any observed differences are due to chance (Creswell, 2005). RESULTS Data were collected from 269 out of 966 reachable ADs (28% response rate), from the total population of 1090 ADs as listed in the current directory of NCAA Division I, II, and III member institutions. Table 1. Responses by Division and Outreach Effort Table 2. Sample Excel Spreadsheet for Collecting Subject Contact Information Division IDivision IIDivision IIITotal Total AD Population 348(32%) 295(27%) 447(41%)1090(100%) Total AD Canvassed Population 282(81%) 295(100%)389(87%)966(88%) Response Rates 81(29%)94(32%)94 (24%)269(28%) RESULTS (cont’d) CONCLUSIONS REFEENCES Table 3. Relationship of Research Questions to Survey Items The data was analyzed and the findings of the results were discussed. The pathways indicated that team sports played and coach versus individual sports played and coached were the key thresholds for advancement to the AD position. The typical career pathways to the AD position may hinder diversity. The two most important qualities for success are getting experience and willingness to try. Still a position worth aspiring. OPTIONAL LOGO HERE The Athletic Director: An Overview The AD has long played a key role in athletics at U.S. colleges and universities (Steitz, 1971). An AD is responsible for overseeing the budget, scheduling, facilities, staffing, and compliance of the athletic department at his or her institution (William & Miller, 1983). In a 2003 study, Parrish documented that 73.7 % of the population of ADs reported work time in areas such as development, fundraising, marketing, or alumni relations. The number of ADs has increased as more institutions have reorganized their athletic departments under a single chief administrator. When many institutions merged male and female sports divisions under a single AD, it was the male, and not the female, senior athletic administrator who was most typically assigned the coveted AD spot (Grappendorf & Lough, 2006). Thus, while the total number of ADs has grown over time, that growth has been male dominated, and often meant the loss of female participation. Problem of Practice: Lack of Diversity among Athletic Administration Ranks The AD position may be one of the least diversified jobs in higher education administration (Lapchick (2009, p. 88) called it “one of the whitest positions in all of sport when HBCUs [Historically Black Colleges and Universities] were excluded.” The situation regarding women is equally dire: “not only is there presentation of women holding [the AD] position... limited, but that the numbers have actually declined” (Grappendorf & Lough, 2006, p. 13). Acosta and Carpenter (2010) showed the decline from 21.3% in 2008 to 19.3% in The literature regarding ADs has been remarkably consistent across studies and time with regards to demographic profiles (Fitzgerald, 1990; Goodloe, 1978; Grappendorf, Lough & Griffin, 2004; NCAA, 2007; William & Miller, 1983). Research Questions: What were the demographic characteristics of ADs? What were the career pathways of becoming an AD? Was there a statistically significant relationship among the career pathways in becoming an AD, i.e. (a) gender, (b) race/ethnicity, and (c) NCAA division? Hypotheses: Ho: There was not a statistically significant relationship among the career pathways in becoming an AD and (a) gender, (b) race/ethnicity, and (c) NCAA division. Ha: There was a statistically significant relationship among the career pathways in becoming an AD and (a) gender, (b) race/ethnicity, and (c) NCAA division. Research Design An exploratory, descriptive, census-based research design using a quantitative, electronic survey-based method was the most suitable for collecting the data necessary for answering the research questions regarding career pathways of ADs based on gender, race/ethnicity, and athletic divisions. Data Analysis Data were collected from the electronic survey that had been created with Survey Monkey software. Once the surveys were completed through Survey Monkey, the data were transferred from the Survey Monkey website and downloaded it to a SPSS 18.0 computer file, a computer program used for statistical analysis. Data were exported from Survey Monkey into SPSS, which coded all of the variables from the questionnaire American Alliance of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. (2011). Retrieved from Acosta, V. & Carpenter, L. (2010). Women in intercollegiate sport. A longitudinal study-thirty-three year update. Unpublished manuscript. Brooklyn College. New York. Creswell, J. (2005). Educational Research: Planning, conducting, and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research. 2 nd ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall. Dillman, D. (2007). Mail and Internet Surveys: Tailored Design Method. 2 nd. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Dillman, D., Sinclair, M., & Clark, J. (1993). Effects of questionnaire length, respondent- Friendly design and a difficult question on response rates for occupant-addressed census mail surveys. Public Opinion Quarterly, 57 (3), Fraenkel, J. & Wallen, N. (2003). How to design and evaluate research in education (6 th ed.; with CD and workbook). New York: McGraw-Hill. Lapchick, R. (2010, March 11). The 2009 Racial and Gender Report Card: College Sport. Orlando, FL; The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport. Retrieved from 2008_college_sport_rgrc.pdf. Nardi, P. (2006). Doing survey research: A guide to quantitative methods. Boston: Pearson Education, Inc. National Collegiate Athletic Association [NCAA]. (2010). Survey Monkey, ( ). Retrieved from Name of Institution NCAA Division Name of AD Administrative Assistant Address for AD Phone Address for AA From NCAA website From institutional website RQ1: Demographic Characteristics of Participants RQ2: Career Pathways RQ3: Relationship of Pathways to Gender, Race/Ethnicity, Division Highest Degree Earned X Major of Highest Degree X Undergraduate Major X Varsity AthleteXX Varsity Sports Coached XX Years coached Age of first administrative job Total years as AD XXXXXX XXXXXX NCAA DivisionX X # Years in current position # Years at another institution XXXX Previous positions XX AgeX GenderX X Race/ethnicityX X Barriers X Advice X
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