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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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Published
July 21, 2022

A Practical Guide to Strategic Planning in Higher Education

Second Edition, with New and Updated Content

A resource for anyone engaged in college or university strategic planning, and an excellent primer for planning committees. This second edition also contains new strategies for using an institution’s strategic plan during times of institutional upheaval, and additional techniques for jump-starting various parts of the planning process.

Abstract: A Practical Guide to Strategic Planning in Higher Education is a resource for anyone engaged in college or university strategic planning; it is also an excellent primer for planning committees. Using clear definitions, practical tips, and examples drawn from actual situations, this short book acts as a manual for both experienced planners and those who are new to the process. This second edition also contains new strategies for using an institution’s strategic plan during times of institutional upheaval, and additional techniques for jump-starting various parts of the planning process.

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Blog

Published
July 6, 2022

What Is a Bridge Plan?

(And Does Your Institution Need One?)

A bridge plan allows a college or university to continue to pursue defined strategic pathways during times of uncertainty or rapid, unpredictable change. It’s also a good solution for when faculty and staff are overwhelmed due to a highly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) environment.

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Example Plans

Published
May 31, 2022

Sustainability Plan

Abstract: “In 2013 TRU established ‘increasing sustainability’ as one of its five strategic priorities for 2014-2019. This Strategic Sustainability Plan (SSP) is aligned with the university’s strategic plan, and provides a focus for TRU’s efforts toward sustainability over the same period. The SSP is comprehensive in nature, and includes more than 130 recommended strategies across four key focus areas: Operations & Planning, Advocacy & Engagement, Learning, and Administration. The SSP is intended to provide a framework for each TRU department and operational unit to incorporate sustainability initiatives into their own planning processes (the structure of the plan is illustrated on the opposing page). . . . Unlike some strategic documents, the plan takes a comprehensive approach of documenting strategies over the next 5 years. These strategies are not all the responsibility of one department or office, but rather are shared among many. This comprehensive approach will allow each office or department to see where and how it can play a role in TRU’s sustainability journey.”

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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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Planning for Higher Education Journal

Published
October 13, 2021

Mission-Aligned Online Academic Programs at US Jesuit Institutions

Identify and Implement Practices That Mature the Development of Courses

A custom survey measured the process maturity involved in planning, implementing, and evaluating online offerings that reflected the principles of Ignatian Pedagogy.

From Volume 49 Number 4 | July–September 2021

Abstract: The purpose of the research was to observe process maturity associated with the design and development of mission-aligned online academic programs at Jesuit institutions in the United States. Twenty of the twenty-seven American Jesuit institutions were represented, including respondents who were most responsible for implementing the process used to design and develop online courses and programs. A custom survey was created to measure the process maturity involved in planning, implementing, and evaluating the design and development. The research design focused on narrative analysis of each institutional mission, which identified themes and keywords that were included in the custom survey.

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Conference Recordings

Published
July 13, 2021

Higher Education’s Financial Trajectory

Are We at an Inflection Point?

Moody's will discuss the financial outlook for the higher education sector over the next two years and beyond.
Abstract: The external environment confronting colleges and universities continues to rapidly evolve, driven by lingering effects of the pandemic, changing demographics and student preferences, a complex governmental funding environment, and exposure to a broad array of macroeconomic conditions. Moody's will discuss the financial outlook for the higher education sector over the next two years and beyond. Within that context, they will review how they assess the financial health of individual institutions, which are better situated to thrive and which may struggle, and trends in capital funding strategies.

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Conference Recordings

Published
July 13, 2021

Strategic Plan Implementation in a VUCA Environment

In this session, we'll share how Lakehead University developed a phased strategic approach to guide implementation of its strategic plan.
Abstract: Institutions are currently operating in a VUCA environment, requiring them to manage immediate pressures while still advancing long-term goals. In this session, we'll share how Lakehead University developed a phased strategic approach to guide implementation of its strategic plan. Come learn how a revised approach can serve as a foundation to support a community-informed strategic plan implementation in a VUCA world.

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Planning for Higher Education Journal

Published
June 25, 2021

Flexing Beyond the Pandemic

IT as a Change Leader: Driving Institutional Goals Around Retention and Enrollment

The IT division at Minnesota State University, Mankato— working as part of a campus-wide collaborative effort—quickly and successfully installed new tech in more than 100 classrooms within months of COVID-19 first appearing. Outcomes of the large-scale project are seen as a key attractor for incoming students, regardless of where they are learning.

From Volume 49 Number 3 | April–June 2021

Abstract: With the pandemic forcing education online, IT has become integral to keeping campuses moving forward. With a visionary team dedicated to student-centered experiences, the IT division at Minnesota State University, Mankato managed to quickly and successfully install new tech in more than 100 classrooms within months of COVID-19 first appearing. In this period of crisis, their information technology team created a campus-wide collaboration to introduce and integrate new course delivery opportunities. Outcomes of the large-scale project are seen as transformational and a key attractor for incoming students—regardless of where they are learning.

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Conference Recordings

Published
March 10, 2021

2021 Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference | March 2021

Keynote | VCU | Social Unrest in the Midst of a Pandemic . . . Now What?

Join us to discuss how VCU changed its planning strategies and built campus environment to simultaneously address a public health crisis and calls for social reform.
Abstract: When the pandemic forced students, faculty, and staff off campus in March 2020, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) had just begun initial investments to implement the first phases of its recently completed master plan. What impacts would the pandemic have on the master plan, space planning, and the delivery of VCU's core mission? While VCU adapted and planned for a return to campus, Richmond became a center of social unrest with protests throughout VCU's campuses. Join us to discuss how VCU changed its planning strategies and built campus environment to simultaneously address a public health crisis and calls for social reform.

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Planning for Higher Education Journal

Published
February 9, 2021

Leveraging Institutional Planning to Benefit Latinx Students

Racially Disaggregated and Actionable Data Improve Community College Transfer Success

How can institutional planners make a difference for underrepresented minority students? Senior administrators at East Los Angeles College addressed inequities in Latinx student transfer rates with data-backed culturally-relevant strategies.

From Volume 49 Number 2 | January–March 2021

Abstract: California Community Colleges, since 2014, have explicitly targeted retention, transfer, and completion outcomes through a mandated planning process supported by newly-allocated fiscal resources. The policy focuses on equity-driven institutional planning that identifies and addresses disparities for specific groups (e.g., Latinx students, foster youths, veterans). This article shares insight from five years of case study research, exploring how senior administrators address Latinx student transfer inequity through new culturally-relevant strategies. Within California, Latinx students comprise the largest share of transfer-aspirants, but they have significantly lower rates of academic success. Key lessons are shared to leverage planning efforts to improve outcomes for underrepresented minority students.

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