The Balancing Act of Succession Planning in the Academy: A Discussion for Faculty Affairs & Academic Leaders

Last updated December 5, 2023

The Balancing Act of Succession Planning in the Academy: A Discussion for Faculty Affairs & Academic Leaders

Last updated December 5, 2023

How are higher education institutions identifying and preparing our future leaders?

Overview

The quickly shifting landscape of higher education in recent years, as well as its potential future in years to come, requires that our institutions develop strong and capable leadership at all levels. Identifying and cultivating leaders with the requisite experience and skills that embody effective and inclusive leadership remains one of the most difficult but crucial challenges for today’s leaders to navigate.  

In a climate where it’s all too easy to fall back on what’s comfortable and risk tolerance is low, it’s more important than ever to think critically about how leaders in higher education are developed—and who is developing them. Among these challenges and considerations, are how to: 

  • Approach succession planning in a way that both creates a pipeline for future Chair and Dean positions, and that also enables faculty to build skills to “lead from where they are.” 
  • Engage in succession planning in ways that motivate and retain, but don’t overpromise. 
  • Ensure you are preparing future leaders well by leveraging tools like training and sponsorship. 
  • Identify future leaders in an inclusive manner, without “comfortable cloning,” (automatically choosing leaders who look and sound like you). 

Join us for this free session, where you’ll hear from our panelists: Neva Specht, Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs at Appalachian State University, and Sarah Zehr Gantz, Senior Assistant Vice President for Academic Initiatives and Policies at the University of Illinois System, as well as your peers in similar positions across the country. You will have a chance to learn and share with fellow attendees and will leave with an enhanced understanding of how leaders are thinking about these challenges at other institutions. 

Who should attend?

This session will be particularly valuable for academic leaders who support faculty leadership, formal or informal, as part of their role. Faculty affairs leaders, Deans, and Chairs especially will benefit.