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Blog Post

Published
December 11, 2023

Addressing Employee Needs in Higher Education:

A Path to Transformation and Excellence

In recent years, higher education staff throughout North America have increasingly expressed concern about compensation, work/life balance, and sense of agency over work. 24% of all staff are actively seeking roles outside of higher education, and 70% of staff at large or public universities would consider changing jobs. A recent survey form over 400 college and university staff provides actionable steps for a brighter future.

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Planning for Higher Education Journal

Published
January 18, 2023

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Walking for Wellness

“Feeling Maps” Can Help Planners to Create Campus Routes that Improve Student Well-Being

Planners at the University of Georgia used “feeling maps” to help identify and create healthier connections for faculty, students, and staff traversing between campus destinations.

From Volume 51 Number 2 | January–March 2023

Abstract: Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, an effort to address physical and mental well-being on campuses has become a focus. One overlooked opportunity to improve student welfare lies beneath their feet: enhancing campus walkability. Planners at the University of Georgia used “feeling maps” to help identify and create healthier connections for faculty, students, and staff traversing between campus destinations.

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Planning for Higher Education Journal

Published
December 23, 2022

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You Belong Here

Plan for and Design Diverse, Equitable, and Inclusive Campus Spaces

Many marginalized student populations don’t see themselves as higher education material. Creating places on campus that reaffirm to them that they belong is vital.

From Volume 51 Number 1 | October–December 2022

Abstract: When carefully considered and thoughtfully planned, physical campus space has the power to reinforce an institution’s values around diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.

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Report

Published
November 1, 2022

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Examining Naming Issues on Campus

This is a SCUP Fellow Research Project Final Report for the 2020–2021 program. This report summarizes the specific cases of US institutions that addressed a problematic building or facility naming issue between 2014 and 2021 and what each of them chose to do when faced with this challenging decision.
Abstract: From 2015–2018, amidst a period of heightened activism on campuses and broader societal change, institutions of higher education renamed and de-named campus buildings with namesakes whose legacies were seen to conflict with institutional missions and community values and harmful to members of the campus and surrounding communities. In 2020, the push for addressing problematic namesakes grew exponentially, expanding beyond buildings and postsecondary education.

Effectively managing naming issues on campus and the expectations and interests of internal and external stakeholder groups is challenging, emotional, and time consuming work that has a lasting impact on the physical campus as well as institutional legacy. This research report summarizes the specific cases of US institutions that addressed a naming issue between 2014 and 2021 and what each of them chose to do when faced with this challenging decision.

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Planning for Higher Education Journal

Published
October 31, 2022

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Institutions Can Say They Encourage Staff DEI Professional Development . . .

. . . But the Individual Chooses to Embrace It

This study examined professional development strategies for higher education professionals in the context of the post-George Floyd-era.

From Volume 51 Number 1 | October–December 2022

Abstract: The death of George Floyd in 2020 and the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement have renewed the focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), particularly in higher education planning. As a result of this attention, higher education has reexamined its commitment to DEI. A student voice survey found that college students were underwhelmed by actions taken by their institutions to address DEI on campus (Inside Higher Education 2021). Institutional units across higher education require coordinated, integrated planning to meet student expectations. This article highlights the results of a study that examined professional development strategies for higher education professionals in the context of the post-George Floyd–era.

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Report

Published
October 26, 2022

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Smart Building, Smart Campus

This is a SCUP Fellow Research Project Final Report for the 2019–2020 program. This report explores the hypothesis that user-centered design would better address STEM student needs and could increase the likelihood of a broader adoption of remote labs.
Abstract: “Will innovative environments like a smart building expand STEM education and reach more underrepresented groups? If technology can support remote work, then why haven’t the previous proofs of concept become fully adopted?” The author pursued these questions through her SCUP Fellows research, exploring the hypothesis that user-centered design would better address STEM student needs and could increase the likelihood of a broader adoption of remote labs. Although the COVID-19 pandemic required a hard pivot in her research plan, she was able to leverage the world's new focus on remote activities and work with students to design a prototype mobile application for a digital, interactive twin of a STEM building on campus.

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Webinar Recordings

Published
September 9, 2022

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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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Report

Published
July 28, 2022

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2022 Campus Facilities Inventory (CFI) Report

The 2022 Campus Facilities Inventory (CFI) report’s valuable facilities benchmarking data will help college and university leaders understand not only what they have now and how it compares, but also how things might change in the future.
Abstract: As leaders of colleges and universities continue to analyze changes today and plan their campuses for the future, the knowledge and insight from the SCUP community is critical. The 2022 Campus Facilities Inventory (CFI) report’s valuable facilities benchmarking data will help college and university leaders understand not only what they have now and how it compares, but also how things might change in the future.

The CFI report consists of two sections that provide a holistic picture of today while enabling institutions to crowdsource a vision for the future: current space use data and recent and planned changes to campus facilities.

Data are reported only in aggregate, protecting the privacy of each institution. Reporting focuses on findings and comparison tables by institution type (e.g., four-year public, four-year private, and two-year public), location (e.g., urban, suburban, rural), and size (i.e., in-person student headcount).

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Partner Content

Published
June 1, 2022

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Planning Diverse, Equitable, and Inclusive Campus Environments

Student-centered insights on the design of formal learning environments and informal study and lounge spaces can help campuses increase the sense of belonging and improve learning outcomes for underrepresented students. The author is a SCUP Fellow for the 2020–2021 program. Read her full research project final report which infuses student-centered research into a playbook that can guide universities and design teams through key DEI strategies for planning, designing, and assessing physical campus space.

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Planning for Higher Education Journal

Published
May 25, 2022

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Scaling Active Learning Classrooms

Adopt 11 Best Practices to Transform Existing Spaces to Support Student Success

A large-scale study uncovered factors that led to successful scaling of active learning spaces and pedagogical approaches in colleges and universities.

From Volume 50 Number 3 | April–June 2022

Abstract: Active learning has been a growing trend in higher education for decades based on its positive impact on student learning and success. Colleges and universities have invested resources into expanding this teaching approach by using active learning classrooms (ALCs). But why have some institutions been successful at rapidly growing their ALCs and learning spaces, while others have struggled? This article, focusing on the higher education arena, summarizes the best practices from a large-scale study that uncovered factors that led to successful scaling of learning spaces and pedagogical approaches in colleges and universities.

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