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Planning for Higher Education Journal

Published
September 1, 2021

Prioritizing Campus Diversity Budgets

DEI Funding Has Mostly Survived the Post-Pandemic Cuts

Researchers learned that if diversity initiatives were a strategic priority for an institution, the 2020 financial crisis did little to reduce budget allocations.

From Volume 49 Number 4 | July–September 2021

Abstract: In 2013, the article Planning for the Future: The Impact on the Public University Diversity Budget in Time of Recession reported the impact of the 2008 recession on college and university student affairs diversity unit budgets. Colleges are again faced with another economic downturn with looming budget cuts. The purpose of this article is to revisit the idea of whether primarily student affairs diversity units are hit harder than other institutional units in fiscal cuts and the potential effect that current events related to diversity programming initiatives have had on campus planning. The article explores the status of these budgets during fiscal uncertainty and the social awareness around campus-wide diversity, equity, and inclusion and its prioritization.

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Planning for Higher Education Journal

Published
June 7, 2021

Increasing Alumni Giving at HBCUs

Start by Broadening the Job Titles of Those Who Do the Asking

By reviewing historical perspectives and conducting current-day personal interviews, the authors researched ways to engage HBCU alumni in giving back to their alma maters.

From Volume 49 Number 3 | April–June 2021

Abstract: In higher education philanthropy, alumni giving is a tremendously vital aspect, especially for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Throughout the history of alumni giving, though, HBCUs have not enjoyed the same success in soliciting and cultivating donations as Primarily White Institutions (PWIs) have. We compiled literature and conducted snowball sampling of private HBCU alumni to understand the motivations for giving or not to their alma maters.

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Planning for Higher Education Journal

Published
July 17, 2020

Academic Deans Reveal Their Leadership Styles

Annual Budgeting Becomes an Exercise in How Authority is Enacted

Academic deans adopt one of three approaches when developing the annual budget report for their colleges: distributed authorship, delegated authorship, or dominated authorship. Depending on the approach they select, deans can include and collaborate with their senior teams—or exclude, ignore, and alienate them. Their choice demonstrates how they lead.

From Volume 48 Number 4 | July–September 2020

Abstract: Few studies have investigated how academic deans enact their authority in Responsibility Center Budgeting (RCB), despite its widespread adoption. In this article I explore findings from a study that investigated how deans crafted a confidential annual budget report at an American university. Ultimately, deans adopted one of three approaches to crafting the report: delegating, distributing, or dominating authorship. Deans who distributed authorship collaborated with their senior teams to establish a shared sense of priorities for their colleges. In contrast deans who delegated and dominated authorship ignored and alienated members of their senior team during the budget review, engendering confusion and frustration.

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Report

Published
April 8, 2020

Fostering Innovation on Ohio’s Co-Located Campuses Through Collaborative Planning

This is a SCUP Fellow Research Project Final Report for the 2018–2019 program. This research project investigates whether co-located institutions, specifically, and competing institutions of higher education, more generally, could use the concept of “collaborative planning” to achieve mutual success.
Abstract: This research project investigates whether co-located institutions, specifically, and competing institutions of higher education, more generally, could use the concept of “collaborative planning” to achieve mutual success. Collaborative planning is a conceptual framework from urban planning that emphasizes “partnership,stakeholder involvement, collaboration, and consensus-oriented decision-making” as core principles of planning (Vandenbussche, Edelenbos, and Eshuis 2017). It is an effective tool for transcending competition, negotiating disagreements, and achieving increased institutional collaboration and innovation.

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Planning for Higher Education Journal

Published
April 1, 2019

An Analysis of Instructional Expenditures in U.S. Public Higher Education

From 2004 Through 2015

Results indicate that, when adjusted for inflation, instructional expenditures at U.S. public institutions increased from 2004–2015; however, evidence suggests that the rise was more modest and less consistent than may be known.

From Volume 47 Number 3 | April–June 2019

Abstract: Due to the rising price of tuition, the prevailing narrative regarding higher education is that the cost of delivering a college degree is increasing substantially. However, the cost of delivering an education is not definitively linked to the price in tuition paid to attend. Prior studies confirmed small increases in instructional expenditures per full-time-equivalent student from the 1980s to 2000; however, more recent trends in instructional costs are relatively unknown. The purpose of this study was to track instructional expenditures from 2004 to 2015 at U.S. public two-year and four-year institutions, and to calculate those expenditures as a proportion of U.S. Gross Domestic Product.

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Planning for Higher Education Journal

Published
April 1, 2017

Responsibility Center Budgeting and Management “Lite” in University Finance

Why Is RCB/RCM Never Fully Deployed?

Despite its promise of revenue generation, cost reduction, and a host of other benefits, what is it about RCB/RCM that leads universities to deploy it only partially?

From Volume 45 Number 3 | April–June 2017

Abstract: After its first application nearly 40 years ago, responsibility center budgeting/responsibility center management (RCB/RCM) is now in place at nearly 70 major North American universities. An unstudied fact is that despite its popularity RCB/RCM is rarely deployed to its fullest extent. Instead, it usually exists in parallel with conventional planning and budget models. This study asks why, instead of fully implementing RCB/RCM, universities have chosen to apply it partially. The study finds multiple explanations. On the revenue side, some universities hold back a portion of income to create funds that are used to underwrite institution-wide strategies or subsidize mission-central academic programs that cannot be fiscally sustained under RCB/RCM. In other cases, revenue is held back to fund shared “public utility” services, while in still others the practice of holding back revenue for allocation by some other means is due to difficulty in drawing a functional line between the “academic” and the “non-academic.” On the cost side, some universities have limited the application of RCB/RCM in order to limit market behavior and forestall “fragmentation” (Burke 2007). The study points to several problems in both the practice and theory of RCB/RCM. For example, models meant in theory to complement RCB/RCM may in practice compete with it or promote monopolistic behavior.

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Report

Published
October 1, 2015

Succeeding at Planning Survey Report

Results from the 2015 Survey of Higher Education Leaders

SCUP partnered with the Baker Strategy Group in 2015 to conduct a study with more than 2,200 leaders who plan at colleges and universities. Several themes emerged around planning challenges and how to respond, which are explored in this report.
Abstract: Succeeding at integrated planning at colleges and universities is a challenge. Many planning models do not work in higher education because they are not designed for higher education. Planning processes designed for corporations or non-profits do not account for the complex environment of higher education nor its unique challenges.

Many institutions struggle to leverage planning into lasting change because they create plans in a vacuum. They do not grasp the institution’s strategic issues or create a sound value proposition. They are not prepared for good planning.

To provide guidance on where to prioritize efforts, SCUP partnered with the Baker Strategy Group in 2015 to conduct a study with more than 2,200 leaders who plan at colleges and universities, and ran quantitative analysis on their responses. Several themes emerged around planning challenges and how to respond, which are explored in this report.

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