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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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Planning for Higher Education Journal

Published
April 6, 2022

Teetering on the Demographic Cliff, Part 3

Different Conditions Require a Different Kind of Planning

Higher education has faced major changes for some time—COVID-19 accelerated that volatility—and now we’re anticipating the demographic downslope in student enrollment. How and when should institutions mobilize for the difficult work of planning in the face of wrenching change?

From Volume 50 Number 2 | January–March 2022

Abstract: Part 1 of this series described a major contraction in the pool of college-going 18-year-olds that will reverse decades of growth and stability for higher education. Part 2 explored how we can shape a planning context that supports success in the coming 10 or 20 years. Part 3 suggests how our approach to planning must shift to prepare for abrupt change.

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Example Plans

Published
February 23, 2022

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Example Plans

Published
February 2, 2022

Example Plan

This short-duration strategic framework describes goals and very specific action steps to guide the institution through the current, globally tumultuous era.

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Planning for Higher Education Journal

Published
December 15, 2021

Teetering on the Demographic Cliff, Part 2

Turning Away from the Challenge Is the Riskiest Strategy of All

Higher education has faced major changes for some time—COVID-19 accelerated that volatility—and now we’re anticipating the demographic downslope in student enrollment. How and when should institutions mobilize for the difficult work of planning in the face of wrenching change?

From Volume 50 Number 1 | October–December 2021

Abstract: Part 1 of this series described a major contraction in the pool of college-going 18-year-olds that will reverse decades of growth and stability for higher education. Drawing on the path-breaking analysis of Carleton College economist Nathan Grawe, it outlined how widespread but variable the change will be, and discussed some of the effects—on enrollment, revenue, facilities, staffing, and more—for which colleges and universities should be preparing. This Part 2 explores these implications: How can we shape a planning context that supports success in the coming 10 or 20 years? What attitudes and skillsets will remain useful, and what may need to change?

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Planning for Higher Education Journal

Published
December 10, 2021

Book Review: Broke

The Racial Consequences of Underfunding Public Universities

From Volume 50 Number 1 | October–December 2021

Abstract: by Laura T. Hamilton and Kelly Nielsen
The University of Chicago Press
294 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0-226-60540-1 (cloth)
ISBN-13:978-0-226-74745-3 (paper)
ISBN-13: 978-0-226-74759 (e-book)

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Planning for Higher Education Journal

Published
September 17, 2021

Teetering on the Demographic Cliff, Part 1

Prepare Now for the Challenging Times Ahead

A long-term decline in birth rates raises fundamental planning questions for higher education as the pool of 18-year-olds contracts after 2025. How can planners and leaders use the time we have to prepare for some of the most wrenching changes in a generation?

From Volume 49 Number 4 | July–September 2021

Abstract: A long-term decline in birth rates raises fundamental planning questions for higher education as the pool of 18-year-olds contracts after 2025. This Planning for Higher Education series explores how planners and leaders can use the time we have to prepare for some of the most wrenching changes in a generation. This article, Part 1, surveys the planning horizon as we emerge from COVID-19 and describes the challenges ahead. Part 2 considers specific planning strategies institutions can adopt to meet the challenge. Part 3 tackles perhaps the most daunting challenge: how to mobilize institutions to actually do what needs to be done, however inconvenient (or worse) that may be.

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Conference Recordings

Published
July 16, 2021

Developing Shared Metrics to Guide Multi-level Institutional Planning

This session will focus on the development and use of consistent metrics through the program review process and other key university processes to support integrated planning at the department, school, and university levels.
Abstract: This session will focus on the development and use of consistent metrics through the program review process and other key university processes to support integrated planning at the department, school, and university levels. Using coordinated data at multiple levels of an institution can better inform both strategic planning and budget decisions. We'll share successful examples from Northwestern University that you can apply at your institution, including school-level dashboards that inform the annual strategic planning process as well as department-level planning.

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Conference Recordings

Published
July 12, 2021

Strategic Resource Allocation

More Important Than Ever Before

This session will focus on a proven process for fairly and holistically evaluating all current academic programs and support functions to assess their value and contribution to institutional success.
Abstract: Many institutions will not change their mission because of the pandemic, but they will need to change their approach to fulfilling that mission. This session will focus on a proven process for fairly and holistically evaluating all current academic programs and support functions to assess their value and contribution to institutional success. Reallocating resources is difficult in the best of times and performing this function under financial distress is exponentially tougher. Come learn how you can apply our collaborative approach at your institution to make this process more manageable and achieve better outcomes.

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Example Plans

Published
March 5, 2021

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