The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type


Degree Name

Higher Education Administration: Ed.D.


Educational Administration and Higher Education


School of Education

First Advisor

Steven McCullar

Second Advisor

Michael Mills

Third Advisor

Jodi Kuznia

Fourth Advisor

Melissa Majerus

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

succession planning, leadership pipeline, leadership crisis


This qualitative research study examines the role of succession planning in five two-year colleges in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system (MnSCU). The role of succession planning to help prepare colleges for the leadership crisis is examined by exploring the participation of these colleges in a system pilot program. Succession planning, commonly used in business and private sector, remains a new concept in higher education. Thus, the purpose of this qualitative study will be to identify the challenges that prevent campuses from succession planning, tie leadership pipeline issues and their resolution to succession planning practices, and provide recommendations on how to capitalize on the opportunities presented through succession planning initiatives. College CHRO’s and other involved college leaders were interviewed about their participation in the succession planning pilot, including their use of an adopted framework, to understand if and how succession planning impacted their ability to mitigate the factors of the leadership crisis. The results from the research provide new knowledge to inform the existing body of research, highlights information about the impact of succession planning, and gives guidance on the design and implementation of succession planning.



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