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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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Example Plans

Published
May 31, 2022

Academic Plan

This academic plan document enumerates the institution’s academic goals and strategies, with special focus on generating or enhancing interdisciplinary connections between the primary academic themes.

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Planning for Higher Education Journal

Published
April 1, 2013

“Be Prepared” for Policy Windows

Cultivating Campus Change

How can universities overcome the institutional inertia that impedes successful innovation and change?

From Volume 41 Number 3 | March–May 2013

Abstract: While universities recognize the need for change, establishing an environment conducive to change requires time and movement through stages. In this article, I examine different tools and processes that can pave the way for innovation or change. These processes became evident in my research on the emergence of an interdisciplinary policy school jointly established on two campuses where previous models did not exist. The change came about because there was a confluence of forces that promoted it; these factors were strong enough to negate the barriers. There were key actions undertaken by the universities that promoted the change, including systematic program review, university-wide integrated planning, the appointment of an executive sponsor who had social and political capital, and the establishment of a “grassroots” working committee comprising faculty who were passionate about the initiative. However, there were equally important practices and policies that hindered the movement forward; these included institutional procedures that required multiple levels of approval in a lock-step process and the many facets of resistance to change. For universities contemplating a change agenda, the implementation of some of these processes and tools could potentially be beneficial in moving forward.

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Planning for Higher Education Journal

Published
April 1, 2013

“Empowerhouse”

A Multiyear, Inter-institutional Collaboration with Community Partners

Community members and partner organizations affirmed that the role of a higher education institution was indispensable in developing such an innovative approach.

From Volume 41 Number 3 | March–May 2013

Abstract: Over the course of two years, The New School, a New York City university established in 1919 by philosopher John Dewey and other prominent Progressive Era scholars, partnered with the Stevens Institute of Technology, a private research university in Hoboken, New Jersey, founded in 1870. The partnering universities entered—and were selected as one of 20 finalists of—a biannual, international competition among higher education institutions to design and build an energy-efficient house. Typically, the competition draws significant public attention because of its focus on showcasing innovative technologies to advance energy savings. (All 20 finalist houses—this time, including the New School–Stevens “Empowerhouse”—are displayed on the National Mall in Washington, DC.) As well, the competition spurs innovation among students and provides an extraordinary “real-world” educational experience. Five of us who worked on this project discuss the challenges and benefits of an inter-institutional approach that also centered on collaboration with multiple community partners including Habitat for Humanity of Washington, DC, several DC government agencies, and community-based organizations in the DC neighborhood of Deanwood, where the competition house would ultimately be relocated and reconstructed as a two-family Habitat for Humanity residence. The project involved more than 200 students over a multiyear period working on and employing their academic preparation in areas including community engagement, advocacy, mechanical engineering, civil engineering, environmental policy, sustainability management, fashion design, lighting design, organizational change management, urban policy, environmental studies, architecture, and product design.

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Planning for Higher Education Journal

Published
April 1, 2013

Conversations With Central Administration

Facilitating Communication and Partnerships in New Program Development

Central administration is not creating curriculum; rather, it is encouraging the faculty to understand limitations and embrace broad institutional visions.

From Volume 41 Number 3 | March–May 2013

Abstract: The role of central administration in program development varies from institution to institution. Applications of shared governance, differences in state regulations, and evolving institutional procedures result in dissimilar administrative structures. This article reports on the role of central administration in new program development, as discussed by 13 senior academic officers at 12 public universities in the Carnegie Research Universities/Very High classification. The themes of fostering institutional communication and partnerships emerged in the interviews. In addition, the perceptions of the assistant provosts, associate provosts, and vice provosts responsible for the process are included.

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Planning for Higher Education Journal

Published
April 1, 2008

Constructing the Interdisciplinary Ivory Tower

The Planning of Interdisciplinary Spaces on University Campuses

An analysis of strategic and campus plans at 21 research institutions reveals lessons learned regarding planning and nurturing interdisciplinary space.

From Volume 36 Number 3 | April–June 2008

Abstract: The demand for interdisciplinary teaching and research suggests the need to understand how universities are undertaking and fostering interdisciplinarity. Through an examination of strategic and master plans at 21 research universities, this article explores how institutions plan and foster interdisciplinary engagement through the use of space on campus. The construction of such space acknowledges that the discrete functions of the university, frequently attributed to the disciplines and departments, are not generally conducive to interdisciplinary engagement. Physical space is a necessary component for successful interdisciplinary initiatives both functionally and symbolically.

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