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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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Example Plans

Published
May 31, 2022

Strategic Plan

A high-level document enumerating the institution’s five strategic goals and strategies for achieving each goal.
Abstract: A high-level document enumerating the institution’s five strategic goals and strategies for achieving each goal. The goals are framed as increasing and enhancing each of the following qualities:
  1. Student Success
  2. Intercultural Understanding
  3. Research Capacity
  4. Entrepreneurial Capacity
  5. Sustainability

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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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Webinar Recordings

Published
September 15, 2021

The Planner’s Bookshelf: Entrepreneuring the Future of Higher Education

Join Lynn Priddy, president and CEO of Claremont Lincoln University, for a conversation with higher education futurist Mary Landon Darden, in which they explore—via Darden’s book—how a culture of entrepreneurism can lead higher education into a brighter and more sustainable future.
Abstract: “What will it take to change the course of more than 2,000 struggling colleges and universities in America?”

This is the opening question posed by higher education futurist Mary Landon Darden in her book Entrepreneuring the Future of Higher Education: Radical Transformation in Times of Profound Change. For colleges and universities that are grappling with an increasingly volatile landscape, Darden offers practical tools, achievable strategies, and a guide for navigating a realistic path towards progress and innovation. Join Lynn Priddy, president and CEO of Claremont Lincoln University, for a conversation with the author in which they explore how a culture of entrepreneurism can lead higher education into a brighter and more sustainable future.

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Conference Recordings

Published
July 15, 2021

Entrepreneurial Planning

Engaging Diverse Stakeholders, Developing Innovative Approaches, and Achieving Results

Join this session for a facilitated, interactive journey with two college and university leaders that will explore the application of the effectuation model to college planning.
Abstract: In times of disruption and economic challenge, we are given the opportunity to think and act differently. We can experiment with new approaches and collaborate with unlikely partners. Dr. Rebecca Corbin, President and CEO of the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship, will facilitate an interactive journey with two college and university leaders that will explore the application of the effectuation model to college planning. There is a science to entrepreneurship. Tools, examples, and recommended steps will begin your journey of effectual planning.

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Conference Recordings

Published
July 15, 2021

Don’t Get Me Started

Launching Integrated Planning Through Crises and Change

This session will address the university's setbacks, challenges, opportunities, and solutions in launching a shoestring integrated planning process amidst multiple crises.
Abstract: In the midst of post-COVID enrollment and financial troubles the University of Arkansas at Little Rock learned to leverage planning and accreditation to build community and resilience. This session will address the university's setbacks, challenges, opportunities, and solutions in launching a shoestring integrated planning process amidst multiple crises: retrenchment, restructuring, leadership changes, an accreditation visit, COVID, and new enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. Find out how your institution can apply out concrete, low-cost, real-life strategies for initial integrated planning initiatives as well as respond to common setbacks and pitfalls in a VUCA context.

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Conference Recordings

Published
July 12, 2021

Bringing it to the City

Career Boosts, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship

Come learn how to develop strategic partnerships among university, developer, and consultant stakeholders at your institution as well as optimize site development for long-term improvements in recruitment, retention, and revenue.
Abstract: Applying interdisciplinary planning to cultivate entrepreneurship research and innovation can boost student retention and drive revenue; it can also help students in art and design fields find lasting career success. Arizona State University has developed processes to bolster entrepreneurship and innovation while revitalizing downtown Phoenix's cultural scene, resulting in a mutually beneficial town and gown development of collaboration hubs. Come learn how to develop strategic partnerships among university, developer, and consultant stakeholders at your institution as well as optimize site development for long-term improvements in recruitment, retention, and revenue.

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Conference Recordings

Published
July 12, 2021

Building a Path Forward

Overcoming Pandemic Impacts on HBCUs

United Negro College Fund and HBCU college leaders will examine enrollment, instruction, student success, historic preservation, and fundraising in a post-pandemic world and explore how we can transform these challenges into successes.
Abstract: HBCUs have a tradition of providing affordable, culturally accessible higher education to minority and first-generation students as they support disadvantaged communities. The evolution of planning, partnerships, and pedagogy at HBCUs provides lessons for any stressed institution. United Negro College Fund and HBCU college leaders will examine enrollment, instruction, student success, historic preservation, and fundraising in a post-pandemic world and explore how we can transform these challenges into successes. Join the panel for an engaging discussion about physical, academic, financial, and operational strategies for reshaping and strengthening HBCUs and apply lessons learned to address diversity, equity, and inclusion at your institution.

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Planning for Higher Education Journal

Published
May 18, 2021

Book Review: Entrepreneuring the Future of Higher Education

Radical Transformation in Times of Profound Change

From Volume 49 Number 3 | April–June 2021

Abstract: Entrepreneuring the Future of Higher Education: Radical Transformation in Times of Profound Change
by Mary Landon Darden
Rowman & Littlefield: Lanham, MD: 2021
202 pages
ISBN: 978-1-4758-5494-7

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