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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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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
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
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 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 14, 2021

A Mountain Climber’s Guide to Scrambling Through Change

This session will discuss how to take key climbing skills—assessing a changing environment and determining which tools, resources, and expertise are needed to manage change—and apply them to higher education.
Abstract: Solo climbing mountainous terrain is like managing change in higher education—it requires meticulous planning, considerable effort, and the ability to adapt to a changing environment. This session will discuss how to take key climbing skills—assessing a changing environment and determining which tools, resources, and expertise are needed to manage change—and apply them to higher education. It will share a framework to plan for and manage change so you can achieve your personal and professional objectives.

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Conference Recordings

Published
July 14, 2021

Post-Pandemic Pivots

Seizing this Moment of Opportunity

In this session, we’ll explore how to step back from moments of crisis and see them in perspective, as moments also brimming with opportunity to regroup, rethink our strategies and refocus our resources to lead.
Abstract: In turbulent times, visionary leaders and their committed crews recognize the winds of change, reset their sails and change course so they emerge in a better position than before. The global pandemic of 2020-21 has been a once-in-a-century disruption for education at all levels, which has magnified pre-existing inequities and vulnerabilities, and compressed a decade’s worth of social and technological change into a year. Even once this threat has past, many of our campuses will see recurrent disruptions from extreme weather events, other zoonotic viruses, geopolitical conflict, wildfires or flooding. We know now that business and academic continuity will demand flexible, lower density approaches and an integrated, omnichannel approach to student services, scholarship and learning. It can be challenging to step back from moments of crisis and see them in perspective, as moments also brimming with opportunity to regroup, rethink our strategies and refocus our resources to lead positive

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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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Conference Recordings

Published
July 12, 2021

The Paradigm Shift for Higher Education

Join us to discuss the postsecondary education paradigm shift and its potential impact on our educational infrastructure, ecosystem, and role.
Abstract: Over the past year, there have been institutional shifts in practices, policies, and innovative approaches to change. This phase of a revolution of postsecondary education demonstrates that our 'lived experience' is not intended to last or remain unchanged permanently. This realization has been growing in awareness but is accelerated by a national pandemic. College planning has taken on a new meaning as variables of change. It encompasses and requires a recognition that there is a systemic confluence of forces that encompass infrastructure, technology, people, and social justice. Without continuous adaptation and thinking smarter, quicker, and more innovatively, an effective college will fail to integrate the dynamics of accelerated change, as they affect each institution's policies, people, finances and student success outcomes. Join us to discuss the paradigm shift and its potential impact on our educational infrastructure, ecosystem, and role.

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