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Thursday, July, 26, 2012

Alcorn Faculty Get to Prioritize Deans

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We’ve read and talked about prioritizing academic programs and, in a recent SCUP webcast, prioritizing non-academic programs. Alcorn State is having faculty prioritize deans.

Dickson Idusuyi, the Faculty Senate president and an associate professor of social science at the university, said that discussions have centered around how to make Alcorn more efficient and whether some departments need restructuring. Idusuyi said the university has had a culture where deans stay on in their jobs year after year. “They stay in these positions too long to be effective,” he said. “It doesn’t mean they are not doing their work or they are inefficient. Being a dean is not a lifetime appointment. Just like there is reassessment in the business world, there should be a reassessment of these positions.”

Brown said that one problem with the existing situation was that the deans were not being re-evaluated regularly.

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Friday, June, 03, 2011

Developing a Mission Statement for a Faculty Senate

Below, you can read or skim this excellent and important article from Planning for Higher Education. Please do share this URL with any faculty colleagues you know who might understand the value of this for their campus.


The authors are faculty at the University of North Texas who reviewed peer institutions for faculty senate missions, analyzed them, and engaged their faculty in a process resulting in a faculty senate mission statement.

Here, you can also access an interactive beta SCUP semantic analysis of the document, where you can explore its facts, summaries, and key terms in a customizable fashion.

That analysis tells us that the following are the top ten "facts" in this article:

1. mission of the Faculty Senate represent faculty interests to University and community stakeholders
2. mission of the Faculty Senate lead faculty in fulfilling their responsibilities in the shared governance of the University
3. faculty senate is agent of the faculty, and its mission statement stakes the faculty's claim in the institutional decision-making process
4. Chair of the faculty senate tasked to develop a mission/vision statement for the faculty senate
5. Faculty Senate will be perceived by faculty and administrators as a well-respected representative body that has a substantive role in University governance
6. work of the Faculty Senate will be seen as highly relevant to the daily endeavors of faculty and to University decisions that affect academic affairs
7. that faculty involvement is the most important factor contributing to faculty senate effectiveness
8. One way to shape faculty senate efforts and to advocate for the senate's role in the university community is adhere to a clearly defined mission statement
9. committee approached this task with the strong sense that developing a mission statement was an important step in establishing the faculty senate's role in shared university governance
10. Faculty Senate serves as a liaison between faculty and administration

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Tuesday, May, 10, 2011

Returning Adult Students - AAC&U's Peer Review

If you're engaged in responsibilities related to planning for adult students, returning students, non-traditional students ... then you may wish to purchase this entire issue of Peer Review from the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U).


Below is the Table of Contents as it appears on the AAC&U website. The items which are underlined links are available for reading on line by anyone.

Winter 2011  Peer Review Cover

Current Issue: 
Winter 2011, Vol. 13, No. 1

Returning Adult Students

Adult students constitute a growing population on college campuses. This issue features a range of programs that ensure returning adult and other nontraditional students achieve the full array of liberal education outcomes.

Buy Now




Winter 201

From the Editor


Strategies for Becoming Adult-Learning-Focused Institutions
Rebecca Klein-Collins, Council of Adult and Experiential Learning

What Adult Learners Can Teach Us about All Learners: 
A Conversation with L. Lee Knefelkamp 

Laura Donnelly-Smith, AAC&U


St. Catherine University’s Weekend College
Julie Michener, Amy Lindgren, Greg Steenson, and Joan Robertson, St. Catherine University

Enhancing Veteran Success in Higher Education
Elizabeth O’Herrin, American Council on Education

Planning to Succeed: Meeting the Needs of Adult Students Today
Greg von Lehman, University of Maryland University College

Adult Students: Meeting the Challenge of a Growing Student Population 
Joseph Worth and Christopher Stephens, St. Louis Community College


Research on Adult Learners: Supporting the Needs of a Student Population that Is No Longer Nontraditional
Jovita M. Ross-Gordon, Texas State University-San Marcos; Jossey-Bass

AAC&U Work on Community College Students and 
Liberal Education Outcomes

Reality Check

Finding Purpose and Meaning in and out of the Classroom
Art Chickering, Goddard College


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Friday, April, 29, 2011

Another Look at SCUP's 2010 'Tribute to Excellence'

One of the many good things about the society's annual conference is the opportunity to learn from recipients of SCUP's awards, either in formal professional development sessions or more informal settings.

The SCUP's 2011 Excellence Award recipients have been announced. Congratulations to you all.

We're taking this opportunity to once more bring out information about the 2010 recipients, via SCUP's 2010 Tribute to Excellence newspaper. It is a useful resource that some may overlook, as are the web pages about the recipients. 

The 2011 Tribute to Excellence newspaper will be available prior to SCUP–46.

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Thursday, April, 21, 2011

Academically Adrift

Monday, July 25, 2011, 8:30 AM–9:45 AM

Monday Plenary Session

Presented by: Richard Arum, Professor, Sociology and Education, New York University; Josipa Roksa, Assistant Professor, Sociology, University of Virginia

Co-Authors, Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses

Richard Arum (New York University) and Josipa Roksa (University of Virginia) are co-authors of Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses (University of Chicago Press). Academically Adrift examines how individual experiences and institutional contexts are related to students’ development of critical thinking, complex reasoning, and writing skills during the first two years of college. According to the findings they documented in their book, a significant number of university students in America failed to develop “core” skills, (critical thinking, reasoning, and writing skills) after four years of college education.

Read more about the authors, below the following embedded document. Always find the latest about their session at SCUP's conference here. The document, below, links to a constantly interesting daily "newspaper" about the book and the controversy surrounding it. Let us know if you enjoy it:


The authors studied 2,322 freshmen students between 2005 and 2009 who were enrolled at over 24 American institutions reflecting a “geographically and institutionally representative” cross-section of America’s institutions, ranging from large public universities, liberal arts colleges, and historically black and Hispanic-serving institutions. The book provokes necessary conversation about teaching and learning in higher education. Their key findings include:
  • 45% of the students included in the study “did not demonstrate any significant improvement in learning” during their first two years of college.
  • 36% of students “did not demonstrate any significant improvement in learning” after four years of college.
  • Students who study alone gain more knowledge, while those who spend more time studying in groups “see diminishing gains.”
  • Liberal arts students see “significantly higher gains in critical thinking, complex reasoning, and written skills” compared to other students.
  • A third of students were not taking courses, which required them to read more than 40 pages per week.
  • Students who were enrolled in classes, which required them to read more than 40 pages a week and more than 20 pages of writing a semester gained more than other students.

The research project that led to the book was organized by the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) as part of its collaborative partnership with the Pathways to College Network and is supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Ford, Lumina, and Teagle Foundations.

Continue the discussion! This plenary session will be followed by a concurrent session discussion panel addressing the topic of what constitutes educational quality, how do we assess it, and, most importantly, how do we improve it? 

Richard Arum
Professor of Sociology and Education
New York University

Richard Arum is professor in the Department of Sociology with a joint appointment in the Steinhardt School of Education at New York University. He is also director of the Education Research Program of the Social Science Research Council, where he oversaw the development of the Research Alliance for New York City Schools, a research consortium designed to conduct ongoing evaluation of the New York City public schools. He is the author of Judging School Discipline: The Crisis of Moral Authority in American Schools (Harvard University Press, 2003), and co-editor of a comparative study on expansion, differentiation and access to higher education in fifteen countries, Stratification in Higher Education: A Comparative Study (Stanford University Press, 2007). Arum received a Masters of Education in Teaching and Curriculum from Harvard University, and a PhD in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley.

Josipa Roksa
Assistant Professor of Sociology
University of Virginia

Josipa Roksa is assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Virginia (UVA), with a courtesy appointment in the Curry School of Education. She is also a Fellow of the National Forum on the Future of Liberal Education. Roksa’s primary research interests are in social stratification and higher education. Her research has been published inSocial Forces, Sociology of Education, Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Review of Higher Education, Research in Higher Education, Teachers College Record, andSocial Science Research. She received her BA, summa cum laude, in Psychology from Mount Holyoke College, and PhD in Sociology from New York University (NYU).

For more information about Academically Adrift:

A perspective from The Chronicle of Higher Education

The Wall Street Journal Video Interview with Richard Arum

Excerpt from Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses(University of Chicago Press) in The Chronicle of Higher Education online.

Inside Higher Ed: Academically Adrift



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Monday, March, 14, 2011

'7 Things' Series from EDUCAUSE: A Serious Research Series

What are the implications of student response system availability on the design of learning spaces? This resource helps to answer that question.

An open-ended student response system is an electronic service or application that lets students enter text responses during a lecture or class discussion. Open-ended systems give faculty the option of collecting such free-form contributions from students, in addition to asking the true/false or multiple-choice questions that conventional clicker systems allow. Such tools open a channel for the kind of individual, creative student responses that can alter the character of learning. The great strength of open-ended student response systems may be that they create another avenue for discussion, allowing students to join a virtual conversation at those times when speaking out in live discourse might seem inappropriate, intimidating, or difficult.

The "7 Things You Should Know About..." series from the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) provides concise information on emerging learning technologies. Each brief focuses on a single technology and describes what it is, where it is going, and why it matters to teaching and learning. Use these briefs for a no-jargon, quick overview of a topic and share them with time-pressed colleagues.

We agree. This particular series is great, including such core resources as:


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Monday, March, 07, 2011

Kicking It Off With Freeman A. Hrabowski

Freeman A. Hrabowski is president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and one of the more renowned college or university presidents in the US. He's no stranger to SCUP, having been a panelist in SCUP's first virtual event, SCUP's 1999 satellite telecast: "Creating Tomorrow's Learner-Centered Environments: Today." That webcast, BTW, is available for viewing on SCUP's YouTube channel:


Hrabowski will kick off SCUP–46 with the Sunday evening opening plenary address on July 24, near Washington, DC. We have a couple of updates on his recent activities, below:

  • TIAA-CREF has announced that Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, President of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, has been awarded the 2011 TIAA-CREF Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence. Dr. Hrabowski was selected by an independent panel of judges based largely on his work to increase the representation of minority students in science and engineering and create an institutional model of inclusive excellence.

Problem: College students of all backgrounds struggle in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses at a time when the U.S. needs to increase dramatically the number of graduates in these fields.

Solution: Group learning in introductory courses supports student success and increases interest in pursuing STEM majors, with the long-term goal of increasing the numbers of students who graduate in STEM majors and pursue graduate studies and careers in these fields.

Strategy: Ten years ago, we examined how we were teaching our introductory science classes, with the goal of improving the academic performance of students. A 200-plus lecture hall does not work for everyone, and does not necessarily encourage student engagement with the work and each other.


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Monday, March, 07, 2011

A SCUP-45 Triple Play

 What? Isn't it SCUP–46 that's coming in July, near Washington, DC?


Yep. But we've brought out three of the concurrent sessions from last year to remind you, once again, of the great quality of concurrent sessions at SCUP's annual conference that is higher education's premier planning event. This year it's "Integrated Solutions: How & Now." Click on the banner, above, for more. Register now!

  • Paul E. Lingenfelter, President, State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO), "The Knowledge Economy Has Arrived: Now What Do We Do?"
  • George Pernsteiner, Chancellor, Oregon University System, "Are We Wasting a Percfectly Good Crisis?"
  • Peter Smith, Senior Vice President of Academic Strategies and Development, Kaplan Higher Education, "The New Ecology of Learning in the 21st Century"

Enjoy these extracted SCUP-45 executive summaries using our interactive PDF functionality, below. Now iPad compatible!

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Monday, February, 21, 2011

Exclusive! Executive Summary of SCUP-45 Plenary Session by Mark David Milliron

This content was previously unavailable to the public. SCUP members and those who attended SCUP–45 in 2010, can download the entire 49-page booklet of SCUP-45 executive summaries here. The document, below, cannot be downloaded, printed, or copied from—only viewed.

After SCUP–45 in 2010, SCUP commissioned executive summaries of 20 plenary and concurrent sessions, which became a 45-page PDF resource available to SCUP members and SCUP–45 attendees only. Starting this week, we will be bringing the contents of one executive summary out each week for everyone to see. This is the first of 20. Read it and see why you need to be at 2011's premier higher education planning event! Registration is open now.


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Wednesday, February, 09, 2011

SCUP Question for This Week: 'Are Libraries Doomed?'

So, what do you think. Will we look back in 40 years and see nothing but the memories or bones of academic libraries? Or, will there still be units performing related duties that we still label, or at least think of occasionally, as libraries?

This blog post links to three, related commentaries. What do you think from the unique perspective of a SCUPer? Reply in the comments below, or go to SCUP's LinkedIn group and engage with the discussion there. Be sure to share not only your thoughts, but links to related resources. Thanks!


Early in 2011, before most of academia was even out of winter holiday hibernation, Brian T. Sullivan of Alfred University wrote a letter to The Chronicle of Higher Education, which is written from the perspective of a 2040 autopsy on the body of the dead academic library. His autopsy concluded that the death of the library could have been avoided by more realistic planning now.

In summary, it is entirely possible that the life of the academic library could have been spared if the last generation of librarians had spent more time plotting a realistic path to the future and less time chasing outdated trends while mindlessly spouting mantras like "There will always be books and libraries" and "People will always need librarians to show them how to use information." We'll never know now what kind of treatments might have worked. Librarians planted the seeds of their own destruction and are responsible for their own downfall.

As you might expect, there was a lot of buzz in the comments.

Nearly three weeks later, The Chronicle published another opinion, by Patricia A. Tully of Wesleyan University, who writes (labeling Sullivan as a Cassandra) that the end of the library is a long ways off:

Mr. Sullivan ends his article by stating that librarians "planted the seeds of their own destruction and are responsible for their own downfall," and he implies that this was in part by participating in the digitization of print materials and the development of a variety of online, unmediated services. But librarians should not be resisting these efforts to increase and enhance access to content—a central value of our profession is to make content as discoverable and accessible as possible to as many people as possible.

And in leading these efforts, we are not making our professional obsolete. Librarians in 2050 will be doing the same thing we are doing now—making content accessible to our users. We will be doing this very differently, of course, just as we are doing things very differently now than we did in 1960. The library will look and operate differently, and perhaps provide a different kind of experience for students and faculty. But the library's end is a long way off.

 Then, last week, James C. Pakala of Covenant Theological Seminary (St. Louis), asserts that Sullivan's autopsy report "Overlooks Libraries' Other Roles," saying that libraries do more than serve undergraduates, and also that faculty and staff require a great deal of information searching and analyzing assistance.

And as to IT taking over libraries, the opposite tends to predominate, owing to such factors as librarians' faculty ties, organizational ability, relational skills, etc. Ironically, the last Educause Review issue of 2010 even warns that campus IT operations could fade as technology becomes ubiquitous and consortia or other competitors beckon.

So, what do you think. Will we look back in 40 years and see nothing but the memories or bones of academic libraries? Or, will there still be units performing related duties that we still label, or at least think of occasionally, as libraries?

This blog post linked to three, related commentaries. What do you think from the unique perspective of a SCUPer? Reply in the comments below, or go to SCUP's LinkedIn group and engage with the discussion there. Be sure to share not only your thoughts, but links to related resources. Thanks!

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