Earlier this month, Inside Higher Education reported on a new study from the American Council on Education. The study found that only 30 percent of current chief academic officers aspire to be a president. Considering that the "normal" path to the presidency includes a stop at academic dean (or provost) along the way, this may be discouraging news.
But maybe not. The article explains that the vast majority of chief academic officers are happy with their jobs. And the responsibilities of a president these days are vastly different from those of an academic dean.
In the world of theological education, we're seeing more and more new presidents who have come to their roles in other ways -- straight from the seminary lecture hall, from the denominational headquarters, or from the pulpit of a megachurch.
There are many paths to the presidency. I haven't yet seen any studies that show which route offers the best preparation.
Read the article in Inside Higher Education. Read a summary of the study from the American Council on Education.