Ingraining Succession Planning in Higher Education IT

Part of the CIO Leadership Series

Topics: Human Resources, Administration and Finance, Succession Planning, Leadership and Professional Development, Information Technology, Planning and Budgeting

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IT Forum members can read the full resource to learn how to:

  • Communicate the importance of succession planning for IT
  • Identify knowledge and skill gaps within the current IT workforce
  • Develop skills for the next generation of IT leaders

Executive Summary

With one-fifth of higher education CIOs to retire within five years, and almost one-half of CIOs planning to retire within the next ten, colleges and universities must plan for major changes within IT leadership. Succession planning is an oft-cited—but too rarely practiced—means for limiting potential negative consequences of staffing transitions.

This document lays out the case for succession planning in higher education IT departments, demonstrates how to identify and assess potential gaps in technical skills and core competencies, and establishes a road map for staff improvement in technical, business, higher education, interpersonal, and leadership capabilities.


  • More on IT workforce and leadership planning

    Our CIO Leadership Resource Library includes additional IT leadership resources on succession planning, transition management, and the first 100 days. Learn more.

The Importance of Succession Planning