Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Agricultural and Extension Education and Evaluation

Document Type



The primary purpose of this study was to explore the challenges, benefits, and perceptions of succession planning among currently employed administrators at research universities in the southern portion of the United States at the level of assistant department head or higher and the accessible population was defined as currently employed administrators at Louisiana State University at the level of assistant department head or higher. Deans, Associate Deans, Department Heads, Assistant Department Heads, and Department Chairs were invited to participate in an online survey designed by the researcher to assess the attitude toward succession planning and training, along with a variety of personal and professional demographic characteristics. A total of 46 faculty members participated in the study and 42 provided usable responses.

Based on the findings of the study, the researcher concluded that faculty administrators at LSU demonstrated positive attitudes towards the concept of succession planning but did not show any initiative towards conducting any succession planning on their own. The study found a correlation between faculty experience and their overall perception of succession planning, indicating that less faculty experience corresponded to a higher interest in succession planning. This could be due to the fact that newer faculty members are less entrenched in the tradition of academia and are more willing to explore new ways of operating.

The researcher recommends the University offer all employees the opportunity to develop their skills and train for other positions across campus in a formalized training program, with the understanding that this does not guarantee a promotion or tenure. Involving employees in the succession planning process and making them part of the talent pipeline can solidify their commitment to the University’s initiatives and strategic plans.



Committee Chair

Burnett, Michael F.