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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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TaP Into SCUP

Published
September 9, 2022

Strategic Planning That’s Truly Strategic

What do strategic plans do? What does it mean to be “strategic”? These are among the questions addressed in a recent year-long study of 108 active college and university strategic plans. Hear directly from the researchers as they highlight a few important insights they discovered during their analysis, like how to avoid the many pitfalls of strategic planning and ensure a process focused on strategy and outcomes.
Abstract: What do strategic plans do? Who are they for? What does it mean to be “strategic”? These are among the questions addressed in a recent year-long study of 108 active college and university strategic plans (and the basis of the 2021 book What Makes a Strategic Plan Strategic). Hear directly from the researchers as they highlight a few important insights they discovered during their analysis, like how to avoid the many pitfalls of strategic planning and ensure a process focused on strategy and outcomes.

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Planning for Higher Education Journal

Published
August 5, 2022

Book Review: Shared Leadership in Higher Education

A Framework and Models for Responding to a Changing World

From Volume 50 Number 4 | July–September 2022

Abstract: Shared Leadership in Higher Education: A Framework and Models for Responding to a Changing World
Edited by Elizabeth M. Holcombe, Adrianna J. Kezar, Susan L. Elrod, and Judith A. Ramaley
Stylus Publishing: Sterling, Virginia: 2021
256 pages
ISBN: 978-1642672251

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Blog

Published
October 15, 2021

Back to The Future

Institutional Research, Then and Now

October 2021 marks Planning for Higher Education’s 50th issue! To celebrate, we’re looking back at earlier articles in Planning to reflect on how things change (and, sometimes, how they don’t). Although not a totally new concept, the need for data-informed decision-making in higher education today requires contemporary knowledge and skill from institutional research (IR) colleagues. They transform data into actionable information nuanced with contextualized insights that are essential in integrated academic planning.

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Conference Recordings

Published
October 19, 2020

2020 North Central Regional Conference | October 2020

The Planning Continuum

How Campus Plans Inform Purposeful Decision Making

We’ll discuss how Purdue University’s culture of continuous planning leverages data, facility information, and design to engage new stakeholders, implement a campus-wide vision, and fast-track decision making.
Abstract: Academic life is closely tied to space and conversations about space reveal much about our priorities and personalities. Having a plan can help facilitate these conversations around a shared vision. We’ll discuss how Purdue University’s culture of continuous planning leverages data, facility information, and design to engage new stakeholders, implement a campus-wide vision, and fast-track decision making. The world of planning is changing, so come learn how creating the right scope to achieve the desired outcomes and inform decision making is critical for establishing a planning continuum on your campus.

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Tool

Published
October 2, 2020

An Integrated Approach to Scenario Planning

Recovery Planning in a Volatile Environment: Part 1

No one can predict the future. That doesn’t mean it needs to be a total surprise. This toolkit will walk you step-by-step through scenario planning with instructions, examples, and worksheets that you can use to start scenario planning at your institution immediately.
Abstract: The pace of change is getting faster, and it’s getting harder to anticipate what the future holds—and how your institution can prepare. Scenario planning can help your institution plan for a volatile and uncertain future. Scenario planning uses today’s forces and trends to imagine probable futures and what they could mean for your institution. It’s a flexible process that can inform your institution’s regular planning processes or be used as part of recovery planning in response to disruptions or catastrophic events.

An Integrated Approach to Scenario Planning is a toolkit that will walk you step-by-step through scenario planning. It includes instructions, examples, and blank worksheets that you can use to start scenario planning at your institution immediately. Don’t let your college or university get blindsided. Download your copy and prepare for the future.

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Webinar Recordings

Published
October 1, 2020

From Academic Program Decisions to Results

Building and Managing a Robust Program Portfolio

The decision-making process is only the beginning—how do you build a robust program portfolio in a way that ensures educational quality, financial sustainability, and meets the needs of your students? We will provide real-world examples of ways to effectively build quality online programs and courses that improve student access and retention, including performance metrics and faculty engagement.

This is part three of a three-part program series, “Integrated Planning to Build a Thriving Academic Program Portfolio.”

Abstract: This is part three of a three-part program series, “Integrated Planning to Build a Thriving Academic Program Portfolio.” These discussions will help you build a strategic and sustainable program portfolio that is mission-centered, data-informed, student-centered, and focused on growth opportunities.

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Webinar Recordings

Published
September 15, 2020

Instructional Economics

Making Finance-Informed Academic Decisions

All program decisions have financial consequences—and some may surprise you. We will share a methodology for analyzing instructional economics and strategies for incorporating this data into the program decision-making process for long-term financial health.

This is part two of a three-part program series, “Integrated Planning to Build a Thriving Academic Program Portfolio.”

Abstract: All program decisions have financial consequences—and some may surprise you. We will share a methodology for analyzing instructional economics and strategies for incorporating this data into the program decision-making process for long-term financial health. Understanding the economics of your programs and courses can help you focus resources on the programs and courses most critical to your mission and free up funds for strategic growth.

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Planning for Higher Education Journal

Published
May 15, 2020

Reduce Curriculum Costs While Increasing Student Enrollment

Optimizing Academic Balance Analyses Let Kentucky Institutions Stay Competitive

Results of the study supplied evidence needed to support tough institutional decisions. The 13 Kentucky colleges and universities that participated in the research now have critically important data to use in making choices about how they best serve their students, maximize scarce resources, and sustain financial stability.

From Volume 48 Number 3 | April–June 2020

Abstract: An Optimizing Academic Balance (OAB) analysis provides colleges and universities with effective tools to use in making strategic academic decisions needed to stay competitive in the context of institutional mission, program quality, market potential, cost, and revenue. The Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities recently completed a three-year statewide OAB project with the participation of 13 higher education institutions. The results supported the colleges and universities in making tough decisions.


A Follow-Up

An introduction to the Optimizing Academic Balance process and early results of the research were published in the 2015 Planning for Higher Education article, “Reshaping Your Curriculum to Grow the Bottom Line,”. The current article, with final research data, represents the study’s wrap-up report.

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Planning for Higher Education Journal

Published
April 16, 2020

Can You Trust Your Eyes?

Learn How to Minimize Misinterpretation of Data Reports and Visualizations

Volumes of data are available to administrators to support decision-making. But that doesn’t mean that what’s been presented is accurate. When data are misused or misconstrued, senior leaders at higher education institutions may make the wrong conclusions, ineffective policies may be enacted, and students may not be successful in completing their academic goals.

From Volume 48 Number 2 | January–March 2020

Abstract: Data analytics related to student and institutional performance have evolved quite rapidly—and continue to advance—as the field of data science captures more attention across the higher education sector. And while data-informed decisions can help institutional leaders achieve their goals, there are increasing examples of analyses or visualizations that, when presented without the proper framework, result in misinterpretation and inaccurate conclusions. Context is critical, and erroneous deductions may lead to decisions that adversely affect student performance, program development, and policy changes.

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Conference Presentations

Delivered
July 14, 2019

2019 Annual Conference | July 2019

Problem-Solving Skills

Identifying and Using Your Team's Creative Strengths

Abstract: A big issue in projects and committees are the conflicts and stalemates that occur when team members don't understand each other's thought processes and decision-making tools. Understanding different ways that people process information and approach problems can help teams work together and get problems solved faster. This session will outline different creative toolsets—specific skill sets and problem-solving approaches – that we all have in our repertoire but often don’t use. Come learn how these tools can bolster your innovation, help you identify and leverage the creative strengths of your teammates and colleagues, and keep your approaches to problem solving fresh.

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