Graduate School of Business


Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)


Gene R Sullivan


Community College, Executive Leadership, Leader Development, Leadership, Mentor, Succession Planning


Business | Business Administration, Management, and Operations | Other Business | Strategic Management Policy


The problem addressed observed the lack of succession planning at two-year colleges in Georgia in identifying future leaders in higher education. Due to escalating impending retirements, resignation, and discharge, it is vital that succession plans are implemented within the college for promotions. Leadership succession planning has seldom been incorporated into community college’s strategic planning. The emphasis of this research study was to examine how leadership succession planning can be developed and implemented in the community college arena in Georgia. Challenged by increased enrollments, diminishing state funding, accountability for student success, and increased public oversight, this study intended to provide awareness into the leadership challenges facing community colleges. This study focused on the lived experiences of individuals and groups’ data collected by means of interviews and observation. With the use of existing literature on succession planning, higher education and other organizational settings are used to check the emerging patterns and recommendations for the necessary process, strategies, and methods required to establish a successful succession plan within the executive leadership at community colleges. Succession planning is nothing new as one great example is described in the Bible with the story of Moses and his successor Joshua. Moses became a mentor to Joshua and provided him the opportunity to complete various leadership tasks to further his development. The same principles of succession planning that were used in the transfer of leadership from Moses to Joshua are still applicable to today’s transitions in leadership.