Journal of Education & Social Policy

ISSN 2375-0782 (Print) 2375-0790 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/jesp

Perceptions of Governance Boards on the Adoption of Succession Plans for Minorities at Predominantly White Institutions
Reginald Porter, Jr; Felix A.Okojie

This research study was conducted to investigate how trustees perceived their roles in promoting organizational culture and implementing succession plans that prioritize minority candidates for the presidency. The study also aimed to identify potential obstacles to such plans. The relevance of this research stems from the changing landscape of higher education leadership due to large numbers of retirement-eligible university presidents. In particular, this study sought to uncover strategies and practices that can be used to overcome identified barriers, thereby facilitating the advancement of diverse leadership in higher education institutions.The study involved interviews with fourteen trustees who had served on boards and participated in the selection of university presidents in predominantly white institutions in Mississippi and Tennessee. The participants had diverse professional backgrounds, including leadership positions in corporations, governments, and educational institutions. Their experiences provided valuable insights into the complexities of higher education and the factors considered by trustees when choosing university presidents, particularly in conservative states. Interviews shed light on the demands, challenges, and potential solutions related to talent development, recruitment, and retention of minorities in higher learning institutions. The findings highlight the need for trustees to examine presidential succession planning, address biases against minority candidates, and reconsider shared governance. Trustees believed that succession planning for presidents is a viable and crucial alternative to consider for the selection of presidents, so long as it does not preclude the possibility of vetting external candidates.

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