Another quick update on the data from my survey of web departments in the higher ed hierarchy, as I delve a little bit deeper into the data. This time I looked at the number of levels that separate the web department from university presidents (or their equivalents). This info is somewhat less than exact, as it requires a bit of parsing of the data, as I didn’t exactly ask the question in that form; rather, the answers are culled from the more vaguely worded “As best you can, please describe the chain of command as it relates to the web group.”
In any case, there is an average of 1.8 levels of hierarchy between the head of web departments and the leaders of their schools. Unsurprisingly, large schools seem to have slightly more levels present, but the difference is not large: 1.9 for schools of over 5000 students (n=34), 1.7 for smaller schools (n= 35). Interestingly, schools where the web department exists within IT seem to have fewer layers between the web and the president: (1.5, n=11) vs. (1.7, n=51) for those where the web lives under marketing.