EKU Online MPA professor highlights the importance of leadership succession planning in local government

The looming retirement crisis facing local governments is the subject of a recently published article by Dr. LeAnn Beaty, director of the Masters of Public Administration program at EKU.

The article, which appears in the September issue of Kentucky City magazine, points out the executive and managerial replacement gap facing our country as baby boomer government workers reach retirement age.

The article highlights the importance of Implementing formal leadership succession plans within local governments which can help to alleviate the replacement crunch and ensure a smooth transition of authority.

Leadership succession planning is a process by which organizations recruit and groom talented individuals to eventually assume crucial leadership roles when existing managers and executives retire or move on to new job opportunities.

A recent study by EKU shows that while local government leaders recognize the need for such plans, they do not have the necessary budget or personnel to dedicate to the process.

“Our study indicated that only 18 percent of Kentucky cities have a formal succession plan in place,” said Beaty, “we have to find ways to get over the barriers we face and stop kicking the can down the road.”

Some of the options suggested by Beaty to overcome these barriers include the development of meaningful partnerships between Kentucky Cities and support agencies, as well as closer working relationships with local university MPA programs. Developing these relationships can help Kentucky cities to better plan for their future needs and set up internship and mentoring opportunities to help up and coming professionals prepare to successfully take on the positions that will one day sit vacant.

For more information, check out the article here.

Published on September 30, 2015