Master of Arts in Higher Education (MAHE) Theses

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Stephen S. Bedi

Second Advisor

Scott Moeschberger

Third Advisor

Tim Herrmann


Minding the Mission: Succession Planning for Academic Leadership at Christian Universities was designed to determine the status of succession planning for academic leadership of those institutions holding membership in the Christian College Consortium (CCC). Nine Chief Academic Officers (CAO‟s) from CCC institutions were interviewed regarding the importance and status of succession planning for academic leadership at each of their respective institutions. This qualitative study utilized a grounded theory research methodology and sought to understand the: 1) level of institutional commitment, 2)identified impediments, and 3)viable opportunities associated with succession planning for academic leadership from the perspectives offered by the CAO‟s. The findings revealed that although CAO‟s valued the importance of and were personally committed to succession planning, no systematic approach or model was identified to guide the process within these institutions. Recommendations are made for Christian institutions based upon opportunities offered by the chief academic officers as well as a review of optimal models utilized in higher education. A sense of urgency comes from this research for Christian institutions to assess their current talent pool of potential academic leaders and to adopt both formal and informal approaches to succession planning provided in this study as they plan for the future.