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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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Published
April 22, 2021

Preparing for the Post-Pandemic World

(or, what to do when VUCA Strikes!)

Well, that didn’t go as planned. Let’s face it, 2020 was one of the most volatile years in world history. We now find ourselves digging out from the impact of the global pandemic and thinking, “What next?” To be honest, volatility is not new to higher education. In fact, a measure of volatility is commonplace in the higher education environment. Just over a year ago, the sector was obsessively focused on the enrollment cliff, the higher education business model, and free speech. We’ve added to this list a worldwide pandemic, calls for social and racial justice, cancel culture, and waves of natural disasters.

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Delivered
October 20, 2020

2020 North Central Regional Conference | October 2020

Keynote: Amidst Converging Storms | Part Two

Planning and Strategy for Long-term Recovery and Resiliency

In the second of two keynotes focusing on higher education’s “perfect storm”—the confluence of a global pandemic, financial crisis, shifting demographics, and a changing culture—a cross-disciplinary panel will discuss their integrated planning strategies for moving from a state of triage to transformation.
Abstract: In the second of two keynotes focusing on higher education’s “perfect storm”—the confluence of a global pandemic, financial crisis, shifting demographics, and a changing culture—a cross-disciplinary panel will discuss their integrated planning strategies for moving from a state of triage to transformation. Integrated planning is the foundation upon which we confront higher education’s current turbulent landscape and make the changes necessary for bringing about the “new normal.” Come learn new planning methods and tools for creating future scenario models, achieving operational flexibility and long-term resiliency, and communicating the value of integrated planning at your institution.

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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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Published
July 15, 2020

Developing a Nimble and Change-Ready Planning Culture

Recorded July 15. Panelists Nick Santilli from SCUP and Larry Squarini and Tony Adam from SPOL discuss how integrated planning can help develop a robust culture and take a deep dive into strategic, operational, continuity, and scenario planning.

This is part three of the series, “Planning in Times of Crisis and Beyond: Reviving Your Strategic Planning Process.”

Abstract: This is the third in a series of complimentary, interactive webinars, “Planning in Times of Crisis and Beyond: Reviving Your Strategic Planning Process,” hosted by SCUP in partnership with SPOL focusing on planning for the new normal and beyond.

Our panel of experts discusses how integrated planning can help develop a robust culture and take a deep dive into strategic, operational, continuity, and scenario planning.

Recorded July 15, 2020.
Moderator: Mike Moss, President, SCUP.

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Published
July 15, 2020

Coffee Chat: Tracking the External Environment

The SCUP Spring Trends Report

Recorded July 15. Join Nick Santilli and Jim Downey for a conversation that will highlight the SCUP Spring Trends and SCUP Trends for Canada reports. Scanning the external environment is a key factor in keeping your institution nimble and change-ready—two facets necessary for effective institutional planning. These documents are essential tools for strategic planning, scenario planning, and contingency planning.
Abstract: Join Nick Santilli and Jim Downey for a conversation that will highlight the SCUP Spring Trends and SCUP Trends for Canada reports. Scanning the external environment is a key factor in keeping your institution nimble and change-ready—two facets necessary for effective institutional planning. These documents provide overviews of the important external forces that impact institutional operations. They are also essential tools for strategic planning, scenario planning, and contingency planning.

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Published
June 17, 2020

That Didn’t Go As Planned

Reflections on Institutional Change During a Pandemic

Recorded June 17. Panelists Nick Santilli from SCUP and Larry Squarini and Tony Adam from SPOL discuss how institutions are living through the pivot and how scenario planning can fuel recovery.

This is the first installment of the series, “Planning in Times of Crisis and Beyond: Reviving Your Strategic Planning Process.”

Abstract: Planning in Times of Crisis and Beyond: Reviving Your Strategic Planning Process, hosted by SCUP in partnership with SPOL focusing on planning for the new normal and beyond. In this episode, our experts discuss how institutions are living through the pivot and how scenario planning can fuel recovery.

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Published
June 3, 2020

Pivot Complete. Now What?

Planning Through the Pandemic to a Sustainable Future

Recorded June 3. Higher education has become accustomed to a volatile environment. Volatile environments create significant degrees of ambiguity, complexity, and uncertainty. How do institutions navigate through this volatile environment? Scenario planning.
Abstract: Scenario planning generates multiple well-crafted contradictory narratives about the future to anticipate possible outcomes of environmental forces with the potential to impact an institution. It is important to note that scenario planning does not seek to predict an uncertain future. Instead, engaging in scenario planning provides an institution with the capacity to plan for potential outcomes that may interrupt institutional progress.

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Published
May 20, 2020

‘Smart Change’ for Turbulent Times

Planning for Survival Requires Speed, Flexibility, and Committed Leadership

Higher education faces a very real threat today. In confronting the fallout from COVID-19, colleges and universities are pushed toward making a transformative change. What will that require? A commitment to adaptation, innovation, change management, meeting the most critical student needs, and leaders who stand up to the challenges.

From Volume 48 Number 3 | April–June 2020

Abstract: “Smart change” requires an understanding of when and how to employ routine, strategic, and transformative change. Amid COVID-19, we face an existential threat that demands institutions reimagine higher education as more inclusive, affordable, relevant, and successful. To do so, planners/leaders must emphasize the well-being and success of student/faculty/staff; develop scenarios for sustainable business models; design, develop, deliver, and train instructors to teach across and with all modalities; build collaborative networks within and across institutions; and connect with local, state, and regional businesses and industry.

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Published
April 24, 2020

Coffee Chat: Scenario Planning

Recorded April 24. Jim Downey, VP for planning and institutional effectiveness at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, and Chris McCord, acting executive VP and provost, Northern Illinois University, moderated this Coffee Chat on Scenario Planning.
Abstract: Jim Downey, VP for planning and institutional effectiveness at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, and Chris McCord, acting executive VP and provost, Northern Illinois University, moderated this Coffee Chat on Scenario Planning.

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University Strategic Planning and the Foresight/Futures Approach

An Irish Case Study

Dublin City University has taken the lead in Ireland in terms of its emphasis on strategic planning. Its 2005–2008 strategic plan, Leadership Through Foresight, was part of an ambitious foresight exercise that was aimed at informing subsequent strategic cycles. This article reports on this process in the context of the wider literature examining the value of foresight/futures thinking as applied to universities.

From Volume 38 Number 1 | October–December 2009

Abstract: The contemporary university operates within a global context characterized by ever-increasing uncertainty and complexity. Strategic planning must, therefore, be cognizant of future trends and how those trends will affect the university by creating both threats and opportunities. Our hypothesis is that an approach we refer to as “strategic foresight” can provide us with the tools, methodology, and process to creatively address uncertainty and complexity in our working environment. Dublin City University has taken the lead in Ireland in terms of its emphasis on strategic planning. Its 2005–2008 strategic plan, Leadership Through Foresight, was part of an ambitious foresight exercise that was aimed at informing subsequent strategic cycles. This article reports on this process in the context of the wider literature examining the value of foresight/futures thinking as applied to universities. The article commences with a review of current uncertainties and complexities in the current operating environment. It broadly outlines foresight/futures thinking and then examines universities specifically. It continues by focusing on Dublin City University’s foresight exercise as an example of how foresight operates in practice. Finally, the article concludes by exploring what a strategic foresight approach to planning might look like based on that experience.

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