Date of Award

Spring 5-2019

Level of Access Assigned by Author

Open-Access Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Higher Education Leadership


Susan Gardner

Second Committee Member

Elizabeth Allan

Third Committee Member

Daniel Tillapaugh

Additional Committee Members

Gerald Wright

Karen Boleska


The study draws upon content analysis to investigate the construction of intercollegiate athletic director (AD) vacancy advertisements to better understand how such language may play a role in women’s perceived access to these positions. As a mixed method study, this content analysis was initially employed to analyze the terminology used to construct AD job vacancy advertisements. Subsequently, survey data were analyzed to explore any possible relationships among the participants’ gender, managerial sub-roles, the associated gender of the managerial sub-roles, and the perceived barriers the managerial sub-roles present. The women respondents in this study perceived three of the nine managerial roles and all five of the job titles presented as masculine. This perception of masculinity resulted in 17% of the women respondents being somewhat discouraged or discouraged from applying for a position with the job title of Athletic Director.