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2016 Gallup College and University Presidents Study

What U.S. college and university presidents think of issues facing higher education, from student debt and job skills to retention and graduation rates.

College and university presidents endure complex challenges in the midst of financial pressures and public scrutiny on the value of higher education.

Since 2013, Gallup has been asking college presidents -- including presidents from public and private schools and four-year and two-year institutions -- questions about issues relevant to higher education.

According to the 2016 study, college presidents believe the most important factors in evaluating a president’s performance are student enrollment, student retention rates, student graduation rates and ensuring graduates have the skills needed to find jobs in their chosen field.

This report gives insights into these factors and other related topics facing higher education today.


of presidents say scores on college ranking lists are important ways to evaluate the success of a college president

Gallup data show that


of presidents say student enrollment rates are extremely important in evaluating presidents’ performance, and


of presidents say student retention rates are extremely important


of presidents are at least moderately concerned about debt loads for their students, yet the majority,


indicate it is not possible to significantly reduce the cost of education at their school

Presidents identify student enrollment and graduation rates among the most crucial factors when evaluating college leaders.

2016 Gallup College and University Presidents Study reveals what college presidents think about some of the critical issues facing higher education and their own institutions.

Download this report to learn:

  • The most important factors for evaluating a college president’s success
  • How public and private college presidents differ in opinions on higher education topics
  • Which degree completion practices are most widely used, and have been most effective, at colleges and universities
  • How many college presidents work with executive coaches to develop their leadership skills
  • How important student and employee engagement are to college presidents
  • What presidents perceive as the most important role of faculty at institutions
  • How concerned presidents are about student debt
  • How common it is for higher education institutions gather information on graduate and alumni outcomes

Download the Full Report

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