Campus Location

Dallas Campus (Online)

Date of Award


Document Type



Organizational Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Committee Chair or Primary Advisor

Stuart Allen

Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor

Peter Williams

Third Committee Member or Committee Reader

Greg McKee


Succession planning and leadership development in higher education has come under greater scrutiny in the last decade as a result of a large contingent of college administrators. Small, private, not-for-profit colleges and universities are often more susceptible to the challenges of succession planning and leadership development as a result of scarce resources available for investment in these critical areas. This study focused on the experiences of small, private, not-for-profit college administrators and their use of leader and leadership development as well as succession planning and management strategies. A qualitative, multiple-case study approach was used. The researcher conducted 12 semistructured interviews comprised of a sample of three administrators from four different institutions. Results were organized into three themes, representing the best practices of leader and leadership development, the scarcity of succession planning practices, and the use of informal and formal strategies discovered across the multiple cases. The researcher presented a small college succession planning and management framework, based on this study’s findings, aimed at assisting practitioners in implementing a tangible strategy for developing internal leader and leadership capacity that could be used in a long-term leadership development and succession planning and management.

Keywords: Succession planning, leader development, leadership development, small colleges, multiple-case study, succession planning framework

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



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