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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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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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Conference Recordings

Published
July 15, 2021

Pivot! Planning During a Pandemic and Staying on Course

In this session, we'll share best practices and lessons learned in virtually adapting the cycle of planning and budgeting processes to an uncertain, volatile, and virtual environment.
Abstract: The pandemic hit during a crucial part of Saint Paul College's annual planning process, forcing processes, events, training, and decision-making to move to a totally virtual environment. In addition to pivoting operations, Saint Paul College also faced uncertain financial conditions. In this session, we'll share best practices and lessons learned in virtually adapting the cycle of planning and budgeting processes to an uncertain, volatile, and virtual environment.

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Conference Recordings

Published
July 12, 2021

You Can’t Cut Your Way to Financial Stability

This session focuses on the unique financial challenges facing community colleges due to the pandemic.
Abstract: This session focuses on the unique financial challenges facing community colleges due to the pandemic. In addition to a brief overview of the range of financial challenges being experienced by the sector, two campus-based leaders will describe the reality at their respective institutions. The session will highlight the role integrated planning, aligned with resource management, plays in establishing financial stability that can support enhanced institutional effectiveness.

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Example Plans

Published
March 5, 2021

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