The COVID-19 pandemic introduced jarring changes and urgent challenges to higher education. As leaders seek to recalibrate, they can be so focused on the current moment that they risk overlooking essential strategic planning. In a recent article in eCampus News, our own Dr. Marylouise Fennell discusses the importance of succession planning and outlines tangible steps colleges can take. One essential tenant of succession planning is investing in internal development. Dr. Fennell dispels the myth that an outside hire is always the best choice. She writes,

“One common bias is that an outside hire is overwhelmingly the best option. At times fresh perspective of an outside hire can bring needed insight. However, outside hires automatically start with a handicap, since they have to first learn the culture and values of an institution. Your college has a unique history and legacy that invigorates its activities and culture. Existing members of your team are already inculcated with your values. They understand the past victories and pressing challenges of your organization. Through succession planning, you can cultivate the leaders your college needs with the benefit of a strong sense of institutional continuity.”