Sign up

Challenges confronting female intercollegiate athletic directors of NCAA member institutions by division.
Article Type:
Survey
Subject:
Women athletes (Surveys)
College athletes (Surveys)
College sports (Surveys)
College sports (Analysis)
Authors:
Quarterman, Jerome
DuPree, Aimee D.
Willis, Kimberly Pettaway
Pub Date:
09/01/2006
Publication:
Name: College Student Journal Publisher: Project Innovation (Alabama) Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Education Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2006 Project Innovation (Alabama) ISSN: 0146-3934
Issue:
Date: Sept, 2006 Source Volume: 40 Source Issue: 3
Topic:
Event Code: 540 Executive changes & profiles
Organization:
Organization: NCAA
Geographic:
Geographic Scope: United States Geographic Code: 1USA United States
Legal:
Statute: Education Amendments of 1972

Accession Number:
150965818
Full Text:
This study examined the major challenges confronting female intercollegiate athletic directors and directors of women's intercollegiate athletics programs of NCAA member institutions. A 34-item questionnaire was mailed to 169 female intercollegiate athletic directors and directors of women's intercollegiate athletics programs. Of the 169 directors contacted, 85 (50.3%) returned the questionnaire in its completed form. The findings indicated that budget/funding issues and personnel issues had the single highest number of responses across the total sample. Nearly three fourths of the responses (70.3%) from Division I directors were associated with budget/fundraising, Title IX (gender/pay equity), and inadequate facilities. For Division II, over half (53.5%) of the responses were associated with issues of budgeting/funding, personnel and dealing with the good ole' boys network. Of the 77 responses in Division III, slightly over half (53.5%) were associated with personnel and budgeting issues. The findings are far from conclusive, however they do have implications for: (1) the practice of intercollegiate athletic administration, (2) undergraduate and graduate programs and courses in sport management and sport studies, and (3) the development of future research in the new and emerging field of sport management.

**********

Since the 1970s, women have gained an increasing share of administrative positions in intercollegiate athletics (Suggs, 2000). It was during the 1970s when the first female intercollegiate athletic director, Betty Kruczek was hired at Fitchburg State College (MA). Mary A. Hill was hired during the early 1980s as athletic director of San Diego State (CA). Other female pioneers of athletic administration included Judy Sweet, who became the first female to serve as President of the NCAA from 1991-93, and Barbara Hedges, who became the first female to serve as President of the National Associate of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) (Killy, 1996).

By 1995, women held 35 percent of the athletic-administration positions at NCAA member institutions (Suggs, 2000). Such positions were classified as athletic directors, associate athletic directors, senior woman administrators (SWAs), business managers, faculty athletic representatives, assistant athletic directors, compliance coordinators, academic advisors, graduate assistants, and interns. During the 1999-2000 academic year for member institutions of the NCAA, the positions were made up of 19,124 individuals (Suggs, 2000). Of this number of individuals, 995 were athletic directors. The majority of the director positions were filled by males (n=825 or 82.9%) and the remaining number (n= 170 or 17.1%) were females (Suggs, 2000).

During a most recent analysis it was found that there were 27 female athletic directors of NCAA Division I, 41 in Division II, and 108 in Division III (Acosta & Carpenter, 2002). It was also reported that NCAA Division III programs are most likely to have a female head administrator (27.6%) while Division I programs are the least likely (8.4%) (Acosta & Carpenter, 2002). These findings raise the question of why so few women are represented as athletic directors in the filed of intercollegiate athletics today.

Despite the increasing numbers of women in athletic administrative positions, the aforementioned statistics have indicated that women are definitely underrepresented in one of the most powerful positions in intercollegiate athletics--the athletic directors' position.

As of 2002, there were 885 directors of athletics of NCAA member institutions (http://www.ncaa.org/about/div_criteria.html). Of this number, 297 (33.6%) were directors of Division I, 230, (26.0%) were directors of Division II member institutions, and 357 (40.3%) were directors of Division III member institutions (http://www.ncaa.org/about/div_criteria.html).

Purpose and Significance of this Study

Prior to this investigation, the researchers found no scientific studies which identified challenges confronting female intercollegiate athletic directors. Therefore, the primary objective of this investigation was to obtain empirical evidence from the existing population of female intercollegiate athletic directors regarding key challenges that were encountered as administrators of their current position. This investigation is important for strengthening the theoretical knowledge base for those who are currently studying in sport management or related degree programs as well as for those who are currently serving as intercollegiate athletic administrators. The primary purpose of this study was to identify major challenges confronting female intercollegiate athletic directors and directors of women's intercollegiate athletic programs of NCAA member institutions. A secondary purpose was to describe those challenges that were unique to the directors when classified by NCAA divisional status as Division I, Division II, and Division III.

Review of Literature

Overall, it was reported in the literature that the number of women in the workplace has significantly increased since the 1970s; however, the advancement of women in management positions has not kept such pace. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (1993, p. 32) women made up 47.8 percent of a loosely defined demographic category of executives, top-level and middle-level mangers.

Nearly two decades ago Rosenfield (1988) examined work histories of more than 5,000 women from the National Longitudinal Surveys. According to the review, four challenges were identified for women who aspired to become managers. First, there was competition for a management position. This view implied that there were more qualified individuals (including males and females) than management positions available. Second, women were confronted with family obligations, such as getting married, having children, and having the desire to spend more time with the family. The third obstacle was being a woman. According to this view, there are perceptions that there are certain traits and behaviors exhibited by women that are not conducive in being promoted as managers or executives. The final factor was that women were stereotyped as not wiling to give enough time and effort needed to be in a management position.

Building on the works of Rosenfield, Wentling (1996) reported four obstacles that hindered women's careers as managers. First, there were bosses who did not guide or encourage career progression of women managers. This view implied that bosses were inadequate, insecure and unable to provide constructive feedback to women employees in guiding their career progression. Gender discrimination was perceived as the second obstacle hindering the career development of women managers. Based on the findings, many of the female employees had male bosses who had difficulties dealing with females of whom wanted to become managers. A third barrier confronting females was the lack of political savvy.

In another study, Catalyst (1994) reported the most common obstacles of female managers were: (1) stereotyping and preconceptions about suitability for a leadership position; (2) not being a part of the informal network of communication; (3) little or no effective managing training for female employees; (4) top-level managers not being held accountable for developing and advancing women; (5) lack of an adequate compensation system; (6) little or no flexibility in work schedules; and (7) a lack of programs that enable employees to balance work and non-work activities.

Challenges of female intercollegiate athletic directors have been the topic of a few studies. A study conducted by Sisley (1975) identified several challenges facing female athletic directors. The author postulated that success would be based on the ability to use the following: a) understanding the needs of the student-athletes, b) emphasizing the participants' interests, c) staffing with quality personnel, d) setting priorities, e) maintaining effective channels of communication, and f) understanding policies governing the program. Sisley (1975) emphasized that women should set their own paths rather than follow in the footsteps of men. These challenges identified over 25 years ago may not be valid today.

The lack of studies exploring challenges confronting females as intercollegiate athletic directors has served as stimuli for the present investigation. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate challenges or anything that the female directors perceived to restrain their progress in the workplace. The specific research question guiding the investigation was "What are the major challenges confronting you in the workplace as an intercollegiate athletic director?"

Method

Qualitative Research Method

Given the exploratory nature of this research effort a qualitative research design was used to fulfill the objectives of this investigation. According to Miles and Huberman (1994) and Morse and Field (1995), one of the uses of qualitative research is to investigate the phenomena of which very little is known. Specifically the lack of database research that explains challenges confronting females in their roles as athletic directors have served as stimuli for the present investigation. Qualitative research refers to "an inquiry process of understanding a social or human problem, based on building a complex, holistic picture, formed with words, reporting detailed views of informants, and conducted in a natural setting" (Creswell, 1994).

Qualitative research has been recognized as a powerful tool for collecting data in order to determine patterns of meaning or behavior that will lead to a greater understanding of a phenomenon under study (Miles & Huberman, 1994). This type of research also analyzes the similarities of all participants' viewpoints and then describes the levels of importance of such viewpoints. Specifically, this investigation was focused on the analysis of the written responses of 85 female athletic directors' viewpoint of the major challenges confronting them in the workplace.

Based on the recommendations of Glaser and Strauss (1967); Miles and Huberman (1994) and Creswell (1994) qualitative research is consistent in providing meaning to an open-ended question like the one used in this investigation: What are some of the greatest challenges that you are confronted with during your career as an intercollegiate athletic director?

Study Population and Sample

The study population consisted of all females who were identified as directors of intercollegiate athletics or directors of women's athletics of all NCAA member institutions. The selection of the study informants was based on purposive sampling. Purposive sampling refers to a type of nonprobability sampling in which the researcher's knowledge of the population and its elements is used to handpick the units to be included in the sample (Babbie, 2001). Surveying the entire population was not necessary from a statistical viewpoint, however, it was the researchers goal to provide all of the directors an opportunity to participate in this cross-sectional exploratory descriptive investigation. In addition, the mail survey could be conducted without undue cost or time constraints.

Data Collection Procedures

Following institutional review board approval at each of the ten universities, a request was made to the NCAA to send a list of all female directors of athletics and directors of women's athletics. Upon receiving the list from the NCAA, the survey instrument was mailed to 169 female directors of athletics and directors of women's athletics. Questionnaire packets were mailed directly to each of the potential athletic directors. Each survey packet included a cover letter, a questionnaire and a self-addressed stamped envelope for returning the questionnaire in its completed form. In the cover letter each participant was informed of the purpose of the study and was assured confidentiality by the researchers. Consent to participate was implied when each of the directors returned the questionnaire in its completed form. The athletic directors were also informed of the due date for returning the questionnaire in its completed form. Surveys of usable forms were received from 85 of the administrators, representing an overall response rate of 50.3%.

Demographic Characteristics of the Informants

Eighty five of the directors (50.3%) returned the questionnaire in its completed form. Respondents ranged in age from 29 to 62 within a mean age 46.2 and median age of 46. Nearly two thirds (64.2%) of the informants were between 40-50 years of age. For analysis, marital status was collapsed into four categories: (a) never married; (b) currently married (39.7%); currently divorced (9.6%) and currently separated (3.6%). Racially, the informants were primarily White-Americans (95.0%) with less than five percent of minority status. Nearly all of the informants (79.4%) worked 50 -79 hours per week. Overall, the survey showed they were well educated--more than two thirds (69.8%) had masters degree, one fourth (24.1%) held a doctorate; and 3.6% held a bachelors degree. Nearly a fourth (23.3%) reported a salary between $50,000 and $59,999; however less than ten percent (7.7%) earned $100,000 or more.

Instrumentation

Data were obtained from the female athletic directors using a two-part self-reported questionnaire. Part I consisted of five open-ended questions requiring the participants to write specific answers about challenges that confronted them in the roles as a director of intercollegiate athletics. Part II of the instrument included 29 questions requiring each female athletic director to provide information about personnel, educational, and professional demographic characteristics. Of the 29 questions, eight were forced-choice questions requiring each informant to check ([check]) the most appropriate response for her respective demographic characteristics. The remaining 21 were open-ended questions where each participant was required to write specific answers about her demographic characteristics.

Data Analysis Procedures

The open-ended responses obtained in this investigation were question or content analyzed manually (Morse & Fields 1995). The objective of content analysis is to systematically examine the content of communications--in this sense, written responses to an open-ended question. All responses to the open-ended question were recorded verbatim, coded and analyzed in a systematic way until a data saturation point was reached (Strauss & Corbin, 1990). Data saturation happens when the information being shared by the investigators become repetitive (Morse, 1994).

Three phases of the content analysis technique were employed to analyze data for this investigation. During Phase I, the researchers collectively retrieved the raw data from the questionnaire in a systematic manner. All written responses submitted by the participating directors were recorded verbatim for coding and analysis. Shown in Figure 1 is an example of the form used when retrieving the raw data from the questionnaire for this research investigation. Data were retrieved in a systematic manner; first by listing an identification number of each of the directors (Column 1), secondly by listing the divisional level of the member institutions DI, DII, or DIII (Column 2), thirdly by providing space for labeling each of the responses as an emergent theme (Column 3), and fourth by listing each of the responses verbatim made each of the directors (Column 4). Notes were also written on the margins as needed by the investigators.

During Phase 2 the responses were clustered into meaningful patterns. After four consecutive weeks, 150 responses were extracted from the open-ended research question: What are some of the greatest challenges that you have been confronted with during your career as an intercollegiate athletic director? Independently the two researchers reviewed each of the 150 responses line by line for significant words, phrases, or sentences that could help to formulate categories or patterns of meanings for the responses. Key words and phrases were coded with numbers of the written responses (Miles & Huberman, 1994). Collectively, the researchers met once per week to discuss and compare the line by line analysis of their independent analysis. When the researchers disagreed on how a response was to be categorized, they consulted with cadre of faculty who were considered experts in such fields. This process of analysis was continued until a saturation point was reached between the researcher and eleven clusters of responses that inductively emerged from the process.

Initially, during Phase 3, the researchers independently attempted to identify the cluster of responses by emergent domains or emergent themes. This procedure was employed to construct meaningful conceptual patterns of a cluster of responses (Morse & Field, 1995; Lincoln & Guba, 1985). Subsequently and collectively after three weeks of constantly comparing the responses, 13 emergent domains or emergent themes were identified for 150 or 83.5% of the 155 responses. Shown in Figure 2 the themes were identified as budget/funding issues, personnel issues, Title IX/gender equity issues, organizational & program change, inadequate facilities, lack administration & institutional support & understanding, good ole' boys network, lack of recognition by peers, time constraints & commitment, stereotype women in leadership roles, lack of experience, sexism & sexist attitudes, career development issues, and other issues. Each of the themes that emerged was posed against the major question: What are some of the greatest challenges that you have been confronted with during your career as an intercollegiate athletic director?

[FIGURE 2 OMITTED]

Psychometric Analysis of the Coding Process

Reliability. Inter--coder agreement was also conducted within independent coders to further ascertain the degree of trustworthiness or reliability of the data analysis procedures. Inter-observer agreement was used to determine the degree of reliability for each of the description themes (N=13) and written responses (N=150). Four individuals were selected and trained to independently match each of the responses to one of the eleven themes. The trained coders were two undergraduate (senior status) sport management majors and two full time sport management faculty. Inter-observer reliability was determined by concurrent data analysis of the percentage of agreement in matching the responses to the common domain for each pair of the four raters. Inter-observer agreements among four raters ranged from .636 to .829. Agreements between raters A and B were .664; A and C .744; and A and D .636, B and C .752; B and D .686, and C and D .829. Coefficients of .600 to .700 are acceptable for exploratory use of research measurement tools in the early stages of development as this one (Nunnally, 1978).

Face Validity. Face validity was an enhanced constant comparison of the themes and responses by the researchers over a four-week duration. During this process the agreement schemes dictated the necessity to collapse two of the theme emergents into a single theme. Gender equity and equitable pay were collapsed into a single theme and renamed Title IX Issues.

Results

The major findings of this investigation are presented in reference to the major research question: What are some of the greatest challenges that you are confronted with during your career as an intercollegiate athletic director? Shown in Tables 1 through 4 are the results of the findings of challenges that confront females in their roles as athletic directors. Collectively 150 challenges were extracted from the responses and clustered among 13 emergent themes.

Descriptive statistics for the 13 themes have been arranged in four groups of the directors of NCAA member institutions inclusive of the total responses (N= 150) in Tables 1 through 4. Categories of the directors were analyzed in terms of (1) directors of all the responding institutions (N= 85); (2) directors of NCAA Division I (N= 14); (3) directors of NCAA Division II (N=24); and (4) directors of NCAA Division III member institutions (N= 47).

Shown in Table 1 is a summary of the themes ranked from highest to lowest based on the number of responses made by the 85 athletic directors of the NCAA member institutions who participated in this investigation. The most predominant theme to emerge was budget/funding issues, accounting for slightly more than one-fourth (27.3%) of the frequencies. The second most prevalent theme to emerge was personnel issues, accounting for a fifth (20.7%) of the frequencies. Issues related to Title IX, organizational and program changes, inadequate facilities, lack of administration/institutional support and understanding, and the good ole' boys network accounted for less than ten percent, however, more than five percent of the frequencies each. The remaining six themes, time constraints and commitments, stereotypes of women in leadership roles, lack of experience issues, sexism and sexist attitudes, and career development issues accounted for less than five percent of the frequencies each. No themes were generated for nine (6.0%) of the responses, including the pressure of winning in the MBB, media coverage, convincing coaches winning does not have to be everything, teams being overmatched in conference play, politics, presenting a positive academic image for the athletic department, influencing administrators to view athletics as co-curricular, problems solving--no two alike and many at the same time--and a never ending supply of them, and convincing administration of academic/athletic cooperation.

Shown in Table 2 is a summary of the themes ranked from highest to lowest based on the number of responses made by the 14 Division I informants of the NCAA member institutions who participated in this investigation. Responses related to Title IX had the second highest number of responses. Issues related to inadequate facilities and lack of administration/institutional support and understanding accounted for more than eleven percent of the responses each. Issues involving stereotyping accounted for more than seven percent. Personnel issues and organizational and program changes accounted for less than four percent of the responses each. It should be noted that the top two themes (budgeting/funding and Title IX issues) accounted for over half (59.2%) of the total responses of the Division I ADs. Time constraints & commitments, the good ole' boys network, lack of recognition by peers, lack of experience, sexism and sexist attitudes and career development issues were not considered as major challenges confronting this sample of female directors of NCAA Division I institutions. No themes were generated for one (3.7%) of the responses. The response was the pressure of winning in MBB.

Shown in Table 3 is a summary of the themes ranked from highest to lowest based on the number of responses made by the 24 Division II female athletic directors of the NCAA member institutions who participated in this investigation. The single most dominant theme to emerge for this group of ADs was related to budget/funding issues. Issues related to personnel issues and the good ole' boys network followed the single most dominant theme. The aforementioned themes accounted for half (53.5%) of the total responses by this group of ADs. It is further shown in the Table that less than ten percent of the responses were solicited for each of the ten remaining themes. No themes were solicited for three (7.0%) of the responses including media coverage, convincing coaches winning does not have to be everything, and teams being overmatched in conference play.

Shown in Table 4 is a summary of the themes ranked from highest to lowest based on the number of responses made by the 47 Division III informants of the NCAA member institutions who participated in this investigation. Personnel issues and budget and funding issues were the two most dominant themes to emerge from the data, accounting for slightly more than half (52.5%) of the total responses. The themes for organizational and program changes, time constraints & commitments, lack of administration/institutional support and understanding and lack of recognition by peers generated five percent or more of the total responses each. Responses for the remaining seven themes generated less than five percent each in reference to the total amount of responses. No themes were generated for five (6.3 %) of the responses. Five of such responses were politics, presenting a positive academic image for the athletic department, influencing administrators to view athletics as co-curricular, problem solving--no two alike and many at the same time--and a never ending supply of them, and convincing administration of academic/athletic cooperation.

Discussion

The purpose of the study was to identify major challenges confronting female intercollegiate athletic directors and directors of women intercollegiate athletic programs of NCAA member institutions. The results of this study cannot be generalized beyond the group of directors who participated in the study. However, the results are similar to those of previous studies related to organizational challenges confronting females as managers in the workplace. This investigation has provided a beginning exploration of challenges that confront females in their roles as athletic directors of NCAA member institutions. Of the 150 responses by the directors, nearly half (48.0%) were associated with two dominant themes--budget/funding issues and personnel issues.

Of 13 themes, budget/funding issues emerged as the most predominant theme for the directors. Some examples of such responses included "allocating insufficient resources," "unbelievably low budgets," "budget issues," "budget constraints," etc. This finding is consistent with earlier discussions in the literature of intercollegiate athletics. Most recently, three Division I-A member institutions have decided to "announce cutbacks in sports" (Suggs, 2003, p. A41). California State University at Fresno, West Virginia University and the University of Toledo, each announced they were cutting to NCAA minimum requirements of 16 teams to save money and meet gender equity goals. While a handful of programs make money, many rely on student fees, taxpayer funds, and alumni contributions (Girard, 1998). According to Blum (1994), many athletic departments are looking to campus fundraising offices for assistance in order to get their departments out of debt. Dr. Roy Meninger postulates that asking for money is not easy and therefore fundraising can be a very painful process (Mai, 1991). Meninger further states that fundraising can be "an affront to one's dignity" and can feel like begging. He postulates that keeping one's integrity is challenging because fundraising is selling, and honesty and sincerity can be covered in a "bit of a con job" (Mai, 1991).

The issue of budgeting could also be consistent with the issue of Title IX (gender/pay equity), which emerged as the theme with the third highest number of responses. Some of the responses involving Title IX issues include "gender equity attitudes," "Title IX issues," "gender discrimination," and "sexism in sport." Title IX requires that colleges and universities provide equal opportunities for members of each sex. This might include scholarships, grants-in-aid, and participation. According to Shaw (1995), institutions who are forced with budget constraints are trying to find ways to comply with Title IX without having to resort to dropping some women's (and some men's) programs.

The challenge of complying with Title IX can also raise disharmony between conflicting parties with regard to finding a balance between male and female programs. The decisions that are made to add one program and drop another can inevitably result in divisive points of view from coaches and other administrators. These decisions can also result in lawsuits. Decisions to drop men's teams to meet compliance with Title IX has ignited lawsuits by the men's swimming team at the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1998, and by the men's wrestling team at California State at Bakersfield (CSUB) in 1999 (Lynch, 2001).

Personnel issues emerged as the second most predominant theme for the directors. Examples of the responses to emerge as personnel issues were "work overload (have no assistant AD)," "personnel hiring and firing," "dealing with personnel," "personnel issues," and "staffing issues (lack thereof)." The findings supported by previous research have shown that females in sport leadership tend to leave their positions at a faster rate than their male counterparts (Acosta & Carpenter, 1994; 1996). Other explanations for personnel challenges could be responsibility for people under an administrator's leadership, employee issues such as keeping good employees, or the lack of personnel. The leadership of people, conducting performance appraisals and other responsibilities for subordinates are potential stressors for an administrator (Nelson & Quick, 1985). There is a significant relationship between stress and time issues, personnel concerns, and program success (Martin, Kelley & Dias, 1999). The authors of this study postulated that stress could be alleviated for those individuals: high in hardiness, with good social support and with fewer athletic directing issues.

It has been noted in recent literature that 85 percent of male athletic directors might want to hire a female and advertise for one, but instead will seek the best male candidate and determine what it would take to get him there. (Carpenter in Suggs, 1998 p. 21). Mary Alice Hill, the former athletic director at San Diego State, recalled "... there were constant battles with vice presidents who didn't want me hired," (p. 2C). Merrily Dean Baker, who was athletic director at Michigan State University, recalled having a "difficult working relationship with then-football coach George Perles ... he didn't want to work with a woman, and he made no secret about it" (Blauvelt, 1996 p. 2C).

It is also a personnel challenge for a director to retain good employees. Littman (2000), suggested that a good boss would hang on to seasoned employees rather than spend time and money on perusing new resumes. It is up to the administrator to create an environment that is favorable to personnel and that can be a formidable task. In addition, many administrators reported working greater than 50 hours per week which may be prompted and necessary due to a shortage of personnel in the department.

Conclusions

The findings of this study are far from conclusive, however, they do have implications for (1) the practice of intercollegiate athletic administration, (2) undergraduate and graduate programs and courses in sport management and sport studies, and (3) the development of future research in the new and emerging field of sport management.

In regards to the practice of intercollegiate athletic administration, the results of this investigation have relevance for training and developmental programs for both male and female intercollegiate athletic administrators. For example, the findings of this investigation could be presented at the annual National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators (NACWAA) forum. The forum is held annually in conjunction with the NCAA Convention at different sites in the U.S. It features educational seminars and informative round table discussions for administrators of female intercollegiate athletic programs. This research could also be presented at professional conferences such as the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (AAHPERD) and the North American Society for Sport Management (NASSM). The findings of this study could be used to provide meaningful insight to athletic directors when making decisions about recruitment and hiring of females as athletic administrators at Division I, II, and III member institutions.

Second, results of this investigation can likewise prove useful for teaching students in sport management and related fields such as recreation management, athletic administration, and physical education. Findings from this investigation can help teachers to be more informed and sensitive about challenges confronting athletic administrators. For example, the challenges faced by female athletic directors could be discussed in a Gender Issues in Sport undergraduate and/or graduate course. Students would be able to examine and research various struggles women encounter in the sports realm. Instructors and students would be able to discuss the stereotypical images of women in collegiate administrative positions, problems associated with the good ole' boys network, and other challenges and issues of gender bias that occur at the collegiate level of sport.

Finally, this study can also serve as a road map for future research studies. One suggestion is to replicate this investigation. Using a longitudinal approach would be useful with data collection taking place at different time intervals (for example, every two years). Conducting telephone and face-to-face interviews may assist in increasing the response rate of this type of investigation. Continuing the investigation over a 10-year period to observe changes in challenges is also recommended. Another suggestion is to utilize quantitative measures in future research by developing and implementing a scale for rating and ranking the themes and responses solicited in the current investigation. Also future investigations of challenges confronting females as athletic directors need to examine the generalizability of the current findings of more diverse groups when categorized by such dimensions as race and age.

The results of this investigation must be interpreted with caution in light of several methodological limitations. One of the first limitations was how the respondents may have interpreted the term 'challenge' in the proposed question: What are some of the greatest challenges that you have been confronted with during your career as an intercollegiate athletic director? This question may have been interpreted differently by each of the responding athletic directors. For future research, the term challenge may need to be conveyed as 'barriers and obstacles' or as 'opportunities.'

In addition, only half (50.3%) of the athletic directors responded by returning the questionnaire in its completed form. Having only half of the directors to respond limits the generalizability of the findings of this investigation. Perhaps, the remaining half might have made a stronger case for the major findings of this investigation. Therefore, the results can only be generalized to the directors who participated in this investigation.

A third limitation was beyond the researchers' control, not being able to investigate the challenges related to race and ethnicity as they relate to female athletic administrators. These aspects of diversity are important and future research efforts should be made to address them. While this study cannot be generalized beyond the sample of directors who participated in this investigation, it adds to the literature on the progress of women in intercollegiate athletic administration.

Despite such limitations, the findings from this investigation are valuable to undergraduate and graduate degree programs who train future athletic administrators. Major findings from this initial study can be used as base line data for future research. This information may also be a useful tool for those who are currently serving as intercollegiate athletic directors or who are currently pursuing a career in athletic administration.

In conclusion, this qualitative investigation was an attempt to analyze challenges confronting female intercollegiate athletic directors of NCAA member institutions. Findings from this investigation offer women in managerial roles knowledge they can use in order to enhance their skills and roles as an athletic director. This investigation may assist other female intercollegiate athletic directors in comprehending challenges other female athletic directors have encountered. Challenges of negativity may prevent women from maintaining their leadership positions and management roles. Comprehension of challenges female intercollegiate athletic directors are faced with may expand the development and advancement of women in managerial roles in intercollegiate athletics.

References

Acosta, R. V., & Carpenter, L. J. (1994). The status of women in intercollegiate athletics. In S. Birrell & C. L. Cole (Eds.), Women, Sport & Culture (pp. 111-118). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Acosta, R. V., & Carpenter, L. J. (1996). Women in intercollegiate sport: A longitudinal study nineteen year update. Unpublished manuscript, Brooklyn College, Brooklyn, NY.

Acosta-Carpenter study shows decline in female ADs. (2002). Athletic Management, 14(4). Retrieved November 21, 2003 from http://www.momentummedia.com/articles/am /am1404/bbstudy.htm.

Babbie, E. (2001). The Practice of Social Research, 9th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning.

Blauvelt, H. (1996, October 2). Women slowly crack athletic director ranks. USA Today, 15(13), 1C, 2C.

Blum, D. (1994). Athletics departments turn to planned giving. The Chronicle of Higher Education, 41,(13), A36.

Catalyst. (1994). Cracking in the glass ceiling: strategies for success. New York.

Creswell, J. W. (1994). Research design: Qualitative & quantitative approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Girard, F. (1998). MAC schools lost money; Programs combined for $51 million deficit. The Detroit News. 7F.

Glaser, B. G., & Strauss, A. L. (1967). The discovery of grounded theory: Strategies for qualitative research. Chicago: Aldine.

Killy, J., (1996). Women athletics administrators. Athletics Administration, 31(5), 24-26.

Lincoln, Y. S., & Guba, E. G. (1985). Naturalistic inquiry. Beverly Hills: Sage Publications.

Littman, M. (2000). Best bosses tell all. Working Woman, 25, 48-56.

Lynch, M. W. (2001). Title IX's pyrrhic victory. Reason, 32(11), 28-35.

Mai, C. F. (1991). A psychiatrist looks at fundraising. Fundraising Management, 22(4), 59.

Martin, J., Kelley, B. & Dias, C. (1999). Stress and burnout in female high school athletic directors. Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal, 8(1), 101-116.

Miles M. B., & Huberman A. M. (1994). Qualitative data analysis. Beverly Hills: Sage.

Morse, J. M, & Field, P. A. (1995). Qualitative Research Methods for Health Professionals. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

NCAA Division I, II, and III Membership Criteria. (2003). What's the difference between Divisions I, II, and III? Retrieved June 12, 2003 from http://www.ncaa.org/about/div_criteria.html.

Nelson, D. L., & Quick, J. C. (1985). Professional women: Are distress and disease inevitable? Academy of Management Review, 10(2), 206-218.

Nunnally, J. (1978). Psychometric methods (2nd. Ed.). New York: McGraw Hill.

Rosenfield, R.A. (1988). Women's employment patterns and occupational achievements. Social Science Research, 15(4), 61-80.

Shaw, P. (1995). Achieving Title IX gender equity in college athletics in an era of fiscal austerity. Journal of Sport and Social Issues, 19,(1), 6-23.

Sisley, B. (1975). Challenges facing the woman athletic director. Physical Educator, 32(3), 121-123.

Strauss, A. L., & Corbin, J. (1990). Basics of qualitative research: Grounded theory procedures and techniques. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

Suggs, W. (1998, May). Women carving own place at top. Street & Smith's Sport Business Journal, 21.

Suggs, W. (2000). Top posts in sports programs still tend to go to White men. The Chronicle of Higher Education. XLVI (39), A53-54.

Suggs, W. (2003). 3 Universities announce cutbacks in sports. The Chronicle of Higher Education XLIX (34), A41.

U.S. Bureau of Labor. (1993). Women workers: Trends and issues. Washington D.C.: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Wentling, R. M. (1996). A study of the career development and aspirations of women in middle management. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 7(3), 253-270.

JEROME QUARTERMAN

Florida State University

AIMEE D. DUPREE

Mid American Athletic Conference (MAC)

KIMBERLY PETTAWAY WILLIS

Florida State University

Tallahassee, FL 32306
Table 1
Frequencies of Frequencies of Major Challenges for Female
Intercollegiate Athletic Directors of NCAA Divisions
I, II, and III Member Institutions (N=150 responses by
85 Directors)

Rank   Emergent Theme                         N=150     %

 1     Budget/Funding Issues                    41     27.3%
 2     Personnel Issues                         31     20.7%
 3     Title IX/Gender Equity Issues            10      6.7%
 4     Organizational and Program Changes        9      6.0%
 5     Inadequate Facilities                     9      6.0%
 6     Lack Administration/Institutional
       Support & Understanding                   9      6.0%
 7     Good Ole' Boys Network                    8      5.3%
 8     Lack Recognition by Peers                 6      4.0%
 9     Time Constraints & Commitments            5      3.3%
10     Stereotype Women in Leadership Roles      4      2.7%
11     Lack Experience                           4      2.7%
12     Sexism & Sexist Attitudes                 3      2.0%
13     Career Development Issues                 2      1.3%
14     Other Issues                              9      6.0%
       Total Frequencies                       150    100.0%

Responses are arranged from highest to lowest frequency.
The total N may exceed 100% (N=150) because some directors
had multiple answers whereas others had none.

Table 2
Frequencies of Major Challenges for Female Intercollegiate Athletic
Institutions (N=27 responses by 14 Directors)

Rank   Emergent Theme                         N=27       %

 1     Budget/Funding Issues                   11      40.7%
 2     Title IX/Gender Equity Issues            5      18.5%
 3     Inadequate Facilities                    3      11.1%
 4     Lack Administration/Institutional
       Support & Understanding                  3      11.1%
 5     Stereotype Women in Leadership Roles     2       7.4%
 6     Personnel Issues                         1       3.7%
 7     Organizational and Program Changes       1       3.7%
 8     Time Constraints & Commitments          --        --
 9     Good Ole' Boys Network                  --        --
10     Lack Recognition by Peers               --        --
11     Lack Experience                         --        --
12     Sexism & Sexist Attitudes               --        --
13     Career Development Issues               --        --
14     Other Issues                             1       3.7%
       Total Frequencies                       27      99.9%

Responses are arranged from highest to lowest frequency.
The total N may exceed 100% (N=27) because some directors
had multiple answers whereas others had none.

Table 3
Frequencies of Major Challenges for Female Intercollegiate
Athletic Directors of NCAA Division II Member Institutions
(N=43 responses by 24 Directors)

Rank   Emergent Theme                         N=43      %

 1     Budget/Funding Issues                   10      23.3%
 2     Personnel Issues                         8      18.6%
 3     Good Ole' Boys Network                   5      11.6%
 4     Inadequate Facilities                    3       7.0%
 5     Title IX/Gender Equity Issues            3       7.0%
 6     Lack Recognition by Peers                2       4.7%
 7     Organizational and Program Changes       2       4.7%
 8     Lack Experience                          2       4.7%
 9     Lack Administration/Institutional
       Support & Understanding                  2       4.7%
10     Sexism & Sexist Attitudes                2       4.7%
11     Stereotype Women in Leadership Roles     1       2.3%
12     Career Development Issues               --       --
13     Time Constraints & Commitments          --       --
14     Other Issues                             3       7.0%
       Total Frequencies                       43     100.3%

Responses are arranged from highest to lowest frequency.
The total N may exceed 100% (N=43) because some directors
had multiple answers whereas others had none.

Table 4
Frequencies of Major Challenges for Female Intercollegiate
Athletic Directors of NCAA Division III Member Institutions
(N=80 responses by 47 Directors)

Rank   Emergent Theme                         N=80      %

 1     Personnel Issues                        22      27.5%
 2     Budget/Funding Issues                   20      25.0%
 3     Organizational and Program Changes       6       7.5%
 4     Time Constraints & Commitments           5       6.3%
 5     Lack Administration/Institutional
       Support & Understanding                  4       5.0%
 6     Lack Recognition by Peers                4       5.0%
 7     Good Ole' Boys Network                   3       3.8%
 8     Inadequate Facilities                    3       3.8%
 9     Lack Experience                          2       2.5%
10     Title IX/Gender Equity Issues            2       2.5%
11     Career Development Issues                2       2.5%
12     Stereotype Women in Leadership Roles     1       1.3%
13     Sexism & Sexist Attitudes                1       1.3%
14     Other Issues                             5       6.3%
       Total Frequencies                       80     100.3%

Responses are arranged from highest to lowest frequency.
The total N may exceed 100% (N=43) because some directors had
multiple answers whereas others had none

Figure 1
Example of Theme Analysis of Responses for Greatest Challengers
Confronting Female Athletic Directors

(Column 1)   (Column 2)  (Column 3)  (Column 4)

Informant #  Divisional  Emergent    Informant's Response
             Level       Theme

  31         (DI)                    "Funding"
                                     "Title IX"
                                     "Facility construction"
  77         (DI)                    "Title IX issues"
                                     "Financial support"
 428         (DI)                    "Double standards that are
                                       applied to men and women
                                       relative to style,
                                       effectiveness, etc."
 694         (DI)                    "Ability to charge mindset that
                                       women are important"
 703         (DII)                   "Funding, responding to Title IX
                                       lawsuit"
                                     "Space for expansion and
                                       facilities for new sports"
  25         (DII)                   "Funding"
                                     "Title IX issues"
 383         (DII)                   "Working with increased budgets
                                       for women's programs"
                                     "GE investigator working in the
                                       good old boys network"
 423         (DII)                   "Media coverage"
                                     "Awarding of scholarship"
9012         (DII)                   "Budgeting"
                                     "Gender equity attitudes"
  40         (DIII)                  "Dealing with personnel issues"
                                     "Juggling multiple
                                       responsibilities as coach of 2
                                       sports and AD for women"
 114         (DIII)                  "Lack of orientation to position"
                                     "Lack of time to do what I want
                                       relative to the job"
 268         (DIII)                  "Budget concerns"
Gale Copyright:
Copyright 2006 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.