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Learning Resources

Where planning comes together. T​he power of SCUP is its community. We learn from one another, sharing how we’ve achieved success and, maybe more importantly, what we’ve learned from failure. SCUP authors, produces, and curates thousands of resources to help you prepare for the future, overcome challenges, and bring planning together at your college or university.

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TaP Into SCUP

Published
May 19, 2022

The Indispensable Planner

Learn more about how planners can play a new, indispensable role—transformation architect—in helping their institutions transform to meet current challenges. The authors of the new book, Transforming for Turbulent Times: An Action Agenda for Higher Education Leaders, describe this transformative role, why planners are obvious candidates for the role, and the new mindset, behaviors, knowledge, and skills they will need to fulfill it.

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TaP Into SCUP

Published
February 28, 2022

Transformation Best Practices in the Decade Ahead

Inexorable challenges demand that higher education transform . . . and that transformation needs to start now. Learn more about these challenges and the knowledge, skills, and capabilities an institution needs to transform in the coming decade from the authors of the new book Transforming for Turbulent Times: An Action Agenda for Higher Education Leaders.

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Published
January 25, 2022

Transforming for Turbulent Times

An Action Agenda for Higher Education Leaders

Transforming for Turbulent Times: An Action Agenda for Higher Education Leaders can prepare your institution for the new learning ecosystem that will revolutionize work and learning by 2030. This book outlines a proven, eight-step process for planning, leading, navigating, and orchestrating the transformation necessary to thrive in the new world of knowledge, work, and learning. Whatever your role in your college, university, or learning enterprise, you’ll learn the principles, techniques, and actions that will make you indispensable to its transformation in these turbulent times.
Abstract: Higher education is entering a period of unparalleled turbulence. By 2030, a global knowledge, work, and learning ecosystem will revolutionize work and learning. It will empower individuals to fuse learning, living, and work over 60-year time spans. Tens of millions of additional learners—or even more—will be added to the global learning force. To compete in this rapidly expanding arena, traditional institutions will need to transform, starting now.

Transforming for Turbulent Times: An Action Agenda for Higher Education Leaders will help you support your institution in its efforts to rise to these challenges.

This book outlines a proven, eight-step process for planning, leading, navigating, and orchestrating the transformations necessary to thrive in this new ecosystem. Whatever your role in your college, university, or learning enterprise, you’ll learn the principles, techniques, and actions that will make you indispensable to its transformation in these turbulent times.

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Conference Recordings

Published
July 14, 2021

Keynote | Michael Sorrell

Dr. Michael J. Sorrell is the longest-serving president in the 148-year history of Paul Quinn College. During his near 14 years of leadership, Paul Quinn has become a nationally regarded institution for its efforts to remake higher education in order to serve the needs of under-resourced students and their communities.
Abstract: Dr. Michael J. Sorrell is the longest-serving president in the 148-year history of Paul Quinn College. During his near 14 years of leadership, Paul Quinn has become a nationally regarded institution for its efforts to remake higher education in order to serve the needs of under-resourced students and their communities.

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Planning for Higher Education Journal

Published
May 18, 2021

Book Review: Entrepreneuring the Future of Higher Education

Radical Transformation in Times of Profound Change

From Volume 49 Number 3 | April–June 2021

Abstract: Entrepreneuring the Future of Higher Education: Radical Transformation in Times of Profound Change
by Mary Landon Darden
Rowman & Littlefield: Lanham, MD: 2021
202 pages
ISBN: 978-1-4758-5494-7

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Planning for Higher Education Journal

Published
July 1, 2018

Using Positive Turbulence for Planning and Change

As higher education leaders, we must take charge of our destinies and shape our industry by harnessing the forces of positive change using innovative, intentional approaches.

From Volume 46 Number 4 | July–September 2018

Abstract: Today we find our institutions barraged by the forces of change, and dutifully we respond. Over time, however, we end up molding our institutions to these forces to our own peril, and now U.S. higher education is on the ropes, so to speak. We believe education leaders should take hold of our destinies and shape our industry not by the forces of lackluster government policy, self-serving press and media, and for-profit mega corporations, but to serve true learning and personal growth. There are many tools we can use to lead change. This article introduces the concept of Positive Turbulence, an intentional, disruptive approach for positive change, to the education industry.

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Planning for Higher Education Journal

Published
October 1, 2015

Systemness

A Case Study

This article traces the launch of a substantial reorganization of public higher education in Connecticut through the lens of “systemness”. The case study details the dynamics and challenges of implementing “Transform CSCU 2020” in a period of turbulence and change with a concluding focus on lessons learned.

From Volume 44 Number 1 | October–December 2015

Abstract: State institutions of higher education in Connecticut are experiencing a dramatic and unprecedented period of change: the consolidation of four universities and 13 community colleges into Connecticut State Colleges & Universities (CSCU) and the creation of a new administrative structure. This article charts the early stages of this process, presenting events as they unfolded during Governor Dannel Malloy’s first term beginning in January 2011, through his November 2014 reelection, until his state budget was passed in June 2015.

Advocates of systemness in higher education are challenged to balance the promise of centralized leadership and localized prerogative in designing and implementing policy. Systemness offers the promise of synergy and innovation within and across the system guided by common purpose and vision.

This article discusses five specific implementation processes and challenges: a systemwide credit transfer articulation program; Southern Connecticut State University’s early Transform CSCU 2020 initiatives; an ongoing effort throughout CSCU to develop a systemwide identity; the potential impact of budget constraints on systemness; and difficulties selecting and developing administrators and leaders.

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Planning for Higher Education Journal

Published
December 1, 2004

Evaluating the Success of Strategic Change Against Kotter’s Eight Steps

In evaluating a change process, based on Kotter’s “eight steps” for transforming organizations, undertaken at an institution based, the authors find that “key insights about the future of the organization” came from all levels and all units within the institution.

From Volume 33 Number 2 | December–February 2004

Abstract: New subscribers to the Harvard Business Review receive as a bonus with their first issue a compilation of fifteen classics, which appeared in previous HBR issues. One article, “Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail”, by John P. Kotter, first appeared in the March-April 1995 issue and is often referenced as a guide to strategic change in organizations. It is the purpose of the article to evaluate a change process undertaken at a large comprehensive baccalaureate institution in the context of Kotter’s suggested eight steps in transforming an organization.

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Planning for Higher Education Journal

Published
July 1, 1998

A Developmental Perspective on Planning

Traditional planning fails to consider the complex, unpredictable ways that institutions change and develop.

From Volume 26 Number 4 | Summer 1998

Abstract: Contends that most planners make assumptions about planning and about human and institutional ability to change, and that these assumptions necessarily impact the outcome of strategic planning efforts. Examines the functions served in planning comprehensive institutional change, and suggests that planning failures reflect too great a focus on technique and outcome. Applies the analogy of human development to illustrate the organizational life cycle, with an exploration of institutional "identity issues" – the physical, social, and psychological aspects, as well as the institution’s sense of self.

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