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Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference

March 15-17, 2020
New Brunswick, NJ

SCUP is teaming up with Rutgers University for the SCUP 2020 Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference: Realizing the Vision. The conference will play host to a diverse array of sessions—from timely keynotes to presentations focusing on unique case studies—that will cover fascinating, critical issues facing higher education planning across the Mid–Atlantic region. You will enjoy opportunities for meaningful engagement with colleagues as well as immerse yourself in a tour of the Rutgers campus where you will learn all about the university’s innovative planning efforts.

We anticipate welcoming to the conference over 400 leaders in higher education planning. The conference will be headquartered in the Heldrich Hotel in New Brunswick, NJ—a few blocks from the train station served by Amtrak and just an hour’s commuter train ride to midtown Manhattan!

The conference program will focus on five content tracks:

  • The Future of Higher Education
  • Campus Planning
  • Technology and Data
  • Sustainability, Resiliency, and Risk Management
  • Students and Learning Spaces

Session formats include expert lectures and panel presentations. More information regarding optional tours is coming soon, including tours of destinations on the Rutgers campus and to nearby Middlesex County College.

Come learn, share, and walk away with new connections and tools that will help you face challenges at your institution!

Call for Proposals

Deadline to submit your proposal: October 15

You are invited to submit your proposal as a presenter for a concurrent session. Proposals may feature case studies of success and challenges, explorations of emerging trends and novel approaches, outcome studies, or historical comparisons. In the agenda items, please indicate your intended delivery option for your session.

Need some ideas for your concurrent session proposal? We would love to include the following important topics in our conference program:

The Future of Higher Ed

  • The physical and the virtual campus
    • Demographic change affecting enrollments: the age distribution, geographical
      trends, international student populations, effects on different institutional types
    • Changing educational needs across the life course and degree alternatives, such
      as badging and competency-based credits
    • Lecture capture, hybrid course offerings, synchronous remote classes,
      technological and pedagogic dimensions
  • Developing successful educational programs and supporting them with the physical setting
  • New horizons in teaching and research and their implications for construction and
  • Smart building design
  • Existing and emerging funding models for capital planning and asset management
  • The regulatory landscape: current trends, future directions, and implications for planning

Campus Planning

  • The (inter)relationship between new construction, renovation, and space management
  • Partnership and collaboration among institutions and local communities
  • Developing space projections: transparency, flexibility, and intentionality
  • Vendors/consultants and institutions: What makes for a good collaboration?
  • Best practices for involving faculty in planning
  • Innovation influencing physical and strategic planning
  • Planning in the context of senior leadership transitions: what are the issues for incoming and outgoing leaders and their institutions?
  • Encouraging academic and business units to pursue fiscal responsibility in their operations and space planning: what are the opportunities and constraints?
  • Change management

Environmental Sustainability, Institutional Resiliency, and Risk Management

  • Environmental sustainability in campus planning, building design, and operations
  • Measuring and promoting sustainable behaviors: dashboarding, goal-setting, communicating, and incentives
  • Campus security: what are the considerations for campus planning and building design?
  • Alternative energy: sourcing, financing, and infrastructure
  • Planning for severe weather and climate-related events
  • Student debt concerns: what are the possible policy changes and their implications?
  • Risk management in the age of social media
  • The 2020 presidential campaigns and public perceptions of higher education

Technology and Data in Higher Ed

  • Emerging technologies: artificial intelligence, machine learning, Internet of Things, big
    data, BIM modeling, virtual reality, augmented reality, learning management systems

    • What are the implications for campus planning, building design, operations,
      scientific research, teaching, and the student experience?
      o What are the infrastructure needs?
  • Technology and the physical environment: what are the benefits and implications of joint planning?
  • Role of data analytics in increasing student success and retention
  • Opportunities for better space occupancy data gathering to measure frequency and type of use
  • Measuring faculty productivity, workload, and facility needs: conceptual, political, and technical issues and opportunities.
  • KPIs (key performance indicators) of the future

Students and Learning Spaces

  • The campus as an ecosystem for learning: exploring the interrelationship of spaces, technology, content, and networks as the backdrop of the student experience
  • Designing classrooms for active learning
  • Research on students’ educational aspirations: what will motivate the students of tomorrow?
  • Informal and non-classroom learning spaces
    • Spaces to promote student-faculty interaction
    • Spaces where disciplines are actualized for students
    • Makerspaces and design labs
    • Spaces and campus locations to support undergraduate student research, entrepreneurship, and experiential learning
  • Campus and building design and its impact on student physical and mental health
  • Campus as classroom: living labs, historical sites, and campus-as-social artifact
  • Libraries and their transformative possibilities

Delivery Options for your Session

Expert Lectures

These are formal 60-minute presentations by one or more presenters who will share conceptual
or methodological innovations. These can be strictly lecture followed by audience questions, or
they can contain interactive components. The abstract should detail both the background of the
lecturer(s) as well as the importance of the material to be presented.

Panel Discussion

This formal, thematic, 60-minute presentation focuses on an issue facing the field of higher
education. The overall abstract should describe how panelists will offer coordinated
presentations and the general topic of the panel. This type of session has a more discussion-
oriented format with back-and-forth between the panelists and audience.

Selection Criteria

Proposals will be reviewed by the SCUP Mid–Atlantic Conference Committee and Council,
Planning Academy members, and other volunteers from the SCUP Mid-Atlantic region. They will
be evaluated based upon the following criteria:

  • Connection and applicability to the conference tracks
  • Originality and quality of the proposal
  • Presence of multiple perspectives
  • Diversity of presenters (i.e., regional, institutional)
  • Realistic allocation of time (including discussion) and clearly written agenda items that offer thorough description of content
  • Substantive issues discussed during the session (note again that sessions should not promote marketed products, programs, universities, or services in any way)

The conference committee will select among many proposals, some of which may be similar, and will seek balance among topics and areas of importance to attendees. Proposals of equal merit cannot in all instances be selected if the result would be an imbalance in the conference’s overall coverage of topics and audiences. Although not required, institutional participation in the presentation team will receive higher consideration than a team without institutional representation. We intend to select a comparable number of each of the delivery styles.

Submit a Proposal

Please note: You will need to create an account on our Call for Proposals portal in order to process your submission. This account is separate from your mySCUP account.

View the submission questions.


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