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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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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
May 26, 2022

Around the Water Cooler, Minus the Water Cooler

Build College Community, Resilience, and Trust through Campus-Wide Meetings

More than 100 Muskegon Community College employees attend weekly, all-college meetings. These are essential touchpoints for communication, learning, and planning.

From Volume 50 Number 3 | April–June 2022

Abstract: Since 2011 Michigan’s Muskegon Community College has held all-campus meetings every Friday morning. Initially the meetings were for student services staff to share information and updates. When COVID-19 caused a rapid shift to virtual course and service delivery, meeting attendance more than tripled as the college community drew together to understand what was happening, what was needed from and expected of employees, and how to connect with colleagues when doing so in person was not possible.

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Planning for Higher Education Journal

Published
April 26, 2022

Book Review: Work Force Rx

Agile and Inclusive Strategies for Employers, Educators and Workers in Unsettled Times

From Volume 50 Number 3 | April–June 2022

Abstract: Work Force Rx: Agile and Inclusive Strategies for Employers, Educators and Workers in Unsettled Times
by Van Ton-Quinlivan
Master Catalyst Press: mastercatalyst.org: 2021
266 pages
ISBN: 978-1737627524

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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
March 17, 2022

Book Review: Higher Education Business Models Under Stress

Achieving Graceful Transitions in the Academy

From Volume 50 Number 2 | Jan–Mar 2022

Abstract: Higher Education Business Models Under Stress: Achieving Graceful Transitions in the Academy
by Melody Rose and Larry D. Large
AGP: Washington, DC: 2021
140 Pages
ISBN: 978-1-951635-12-1

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Trends for Higher Education

Published
March 1, 2022

Trends Inside Higher Education | Spring 2022

Within the world of higher education, what are some of today’s key trends—and what are some implications for institutions of higher learning?
Abstract: We’ve organized Trends using STEEP: Social, Technology, Economic, Environmental, and Political. Each trend includes a brief trend summary, a footnoted source, and discussion questions to help you analyze and act on the trend.

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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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Webinar Recordings

Published
November 15, 2021

Higher Education Business Models Under Stress, Part 1

Board Oversight of Finance and the Business Model: Key Indicators and Trends for Scenario Planning and Stress Testing

Join a panel discussion on business model transformation moderated by Verne Sedlacek, vice board chair of Valparaiso University with guest panelists Melody Rose, coauthor of AGB’s new book, Higher Education Business Models Under Stress, and AGB consultants Carlton Brown and Larry Ladd, experts in higher education budgeting, finance, and strategic planning.
Abstract: Securing financial viability requires an engaged board that is monitoring the right trends and campus indicators, asking the right questions of campus leaders about the institution’s finances, and doing the scenario planning and stress testing necessary to transform a business model under stress.

The governing board’s fiduciary duty to steward the institution’s financial health requires that boards and leaders consider business model transformations, and plan for a range of scenarios like mergers, affiliations, strategic partnerships, and even—when all other options are exhausted—final transformations such as campus closures when continued mission fulfillment is impossible.

This is part one of a two-part webinar series delivered in partnership between SCUP and the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB), “Higher Education Business Models Under Stress: Planning for Successful Transitions”. This series will help build your fiduciary understanding of your institution’s business model as you prepare the campus for a range of possible business transformations, from mergers, strategic affiliations, corporate partnerships, or even the ultimate scenario of a campus closure. View the recording for part two, “Graceful Business Model Transitions: Planning and Executing a College or Campus Closure”.

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Planning for Higher Education Journal

Published
November 5, 2021

The Integrated Triad

Apply the Three Time Horizons Perspective to Planning and Governance

An integrated model of three horizons, three areas of planning, and three types of governance is presented as a framework for institutional leadership.

From Volume 50 Number 1 | October–December 2021

Abstract: The global COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed the world of higher education. As institutions look to the future, beyond the end of the pandemic, significant uncertainty exists. There is little question that colleges and universities will have to do a better job at planning, and boards at governing, to flourish in the years ahead. In this article an integrated model centered around three different time horizons, three areas of planning, and three types of governance is presented. The model can serve as a framework to demonstrate how these are all related, self-reinforcing, and usable as an aid for institutional leadership.

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Conference Recordings

Published
October 27, 2021

How an Unprecedented Year Changed the Game for Campus Planning

We'll present a campus planning proof case that Columbia College Chicago conducted during the pandemic, illustrating an evolved approach with tools and methods you can use to optimally prepare your institution for an unknown future.
Abstract: Institutions are expanding the purpose, process, and outcomes of campus master planning as a vehicle for shaping a resilient, agile, and equitable future in the wake of the pandemic. This session will detail how a comprehensive process, involving stakeholder engagement, facility assessment, analytics, financial scenarios, prioritization, and real estate optimization can position institutions for long-term success. We'll present a campus planning proof case that Columbia College Chicago conducted during the pandemic, illustrating an evolved approach with tools and methods you can use to optimally prepare your institution for an unknown future.

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