Equality Among Members: A Founding Principle
SCUP members—whether they are from an institutional, governmental, or corporate environment—share a common interest in the teaching, learning, and sharing of information about college and university planning in all its forms, including strategic, academic, financial, budgetary, environmental, and physical planning. The "equality" of membership status and privileges among all professionals interested in planning—regardless of their institutional or corporate affiliation—is a founding principle. To this day, "equality among members" remains an important value that distinguishes SCUP from other higher education associations.
SCUP's culture is a direct reflection of the way all members interact and communicate among one another in a variety of settings in which the sharing of ideas and factual information, as well as professional networking, occur. While business and professional relationships naturally result from contact among members, the foci of participation in SCUP is in promoting the professional development of the entire membership.
This exchange of knowledge is accomplished through a variety of collegial interactions including correspondence, telecommunications, and personal interactions at professional gatherings and other settings; and expanding knowledge through presentations, journal writing, and research. Members are responsible for nurturing SCUP's culture by modeling its values as outlined in the Strategic Plan. Through their collective behavior and actions, members will extend this legacy to newer members and colleagues.
Finding A Balance
Recognizing that SCUP's diverse membership has been growing and changing, guidelines were developed by a member task force in response to an increasing concern in recent years that SCUP's organizational culture of "teachers" and "learners" was becoming (1) less collegial and (2) more commercial. Clearly, SCUP needed to communicate its culture to members and potential members and to be specific about the behaviors that caused friction. The guidelines below, for example, are intended to encourage and support the spirit of our teaching, learning, and sharing culture and the values we share as a collective membership as we communicate, socialize, and work together.
Ultimately, in order for SCUP to find its cultural balance, the (1) institutional members need to see corporate members as equals in the search for, and sharing of, planning knowledge, and (2) corporate members need to embrace SCUP primarily as a professional development opportunity.
The following guidelines, developed by the member task force, are neither comprehensive nor exhaustive, but address specific issues and situations that have arisen in the past:
Use of the SCUP logo or name to imply endorsement of a service, product, or project requires prior written approval from the SCUP Office.
Communicating with Members
No part of the SCUP Membership Directory may be reproduced, photocopied, entered into a computer database, or copied in handwritten or other format without the permission of SCUP under federal copyright and trademark laws.
Unsolicited communications have proven to be unpopular amongst our membership. Use of mass communications (e.g., emails, faxes, direct mail) typically results in a negative reaction from SCUP members. SCUP provides avenues for reaching its membership. Interested parties should contact a SCUP staff member. Members who wish to send a promotional or reminder email message to specific groups of SCUP members (e.g., state-wide or region-wide) concerning a SCUP activity must send it through the director of communications at SCUP's main office. Communications among leadership groups (e.g., board, regional councils, committees) in order to conduct SCUP business is exempt.
Presenters, exhibitors, sponsors, and attendees in general are urged to demonstrate SCUP's focus on teaching, learning, and information sharing and should avoid aggressive marketing or business development activities while at SCUP events.
The SCUP Commons (Exhibit Hall)
Exhibitors and sponsors may use the official list of conference pre-registrants provided by SCUP's main office to invite attendees to visit their booth or attend their Vendor Presentation.
Exhibitors and presenters should adhere to professional practice standards with regard to identifying their firm's role on specific projects as well as identification of institutional representatives and other consultants with whom the firm collaborated on any project(s) being showcased. It is important to give colleagues credit or attribution where appropriate.
SCUP encourages booth giveaways that focus on learning and knowledge sharing, or that have some kind of "educational value."
Taking handouts or other giveaways without a sincere interest in what is being presented or without speaking to the exhibitor is discouraged. If no booth representative is present, then it is suggested that an attendee should leave a note as a professional courtesy.
During concurrent sessions, conveners are responsible for providing pertinent information regarding each presenter's background, areas of expertise, and affiliations. It is therefore unnecessary to distribute résumés, CVs, or firm profiles at presentations.
SCUP conference attendees are eager to hear what a presenter has to say. Speakers should get to the topic quickly and avoid, for example, reciting the history of the institution or firm or listing all the products and services offered. Attendees will seek such information on their own if interested.
The presentation and subsequent handouts should focus on the subject of the presentation and should not contain promotional content.
Session attendees will react positively to a joint presentation, featuring both institutional and corporate presenters, if the institutional presenter maintains a strong presence throughout the presentation.
Concurrent sessions and workshops are learning venues, and receptions and meals are meant for friendly, relaxed networking. Distributing marketing or promotional materials outside of the The SCUP Commons (exhibit hall) or official Vendor Presentations should only be in response to a specific request. If a business card is requested, members should feel free to provide it.
Vendor Presentations offered at SCUP's annual, international conference are a limited number of designed sessions that firms purchase from SCUP. The 60-minute presentations are scheduled among other concurrent sessions and are designated as "Vendor Presentations" in the conference program. The presentations provide opportunities for vendors and consultants to share knowledge about cutting edge products and services using case studies or projects as evidence of their success. Firms apply for the opportunity by submitting a proposal. Even in these sessions, however, it is strongly advised that the focus be on an exchange of knowledge and not on the vendor's background and capabilities. Marketing materials are allowed in these paid sessions.
Using SCUP social events, such as receptions, meals, plenary sessions, etc., as an avenue for business development or marketing will likely elicit a negative response from other attendees. For example, exchange business cards during these times only upon request.
Scheduling private parties or events during SCUP conferences is acceptable but only if they do not conflict with a scheduled SCUP function. To avoid confusion, confirm the time and location of your event with SCUP staff prior to scheduling it.
As a professional courtesy, do not assume that another member is paying for dining, drinks, or entertainment expenses. If invited to a specific event, considering the context of the invitation-it may be inappropriate to bring an uninvited colleague.
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