Learning Resources

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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July 30, 2021

Passive House Design and Residence Halls

The Perfect Pairing

The session will discuss the basics of Passive House (PH) design, how it can both save energy and improve the quality of the interior environment. The presenters will illustrate how Passive House design has been incorporated from both a design and administrative standpoint at the new residence hall at the University of Toronto Scarborough.
Abstract: Discover how Passive House design was incorporated into the design of UTSC’s 750-bed residence hall and dining facility; helping the University to meet its sustainability and health & wellness goals. Embracing this high-performance design protocol for student residences of any size will align three goals for any campus: sustainability, student health, and bottom-line financial performance.

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June 1, 2020

Trends: Canada 2020

This special issue of Trends focuses on the forces and events affecting Canadian higher education. Our guest editors contributed observations, trends, and insights based on their work within Canadian colleges and universities.

We’ve organized Trends using STEEP:

  • Social: How people work internally (psychology) and with each other (sociology)

  • Technology: How people use technology (including hardware and software), how society relies on technology, and how technology affects society

  • Economic: Macro- or microeconomics, including global trends, anything related to jobs and skills needed for jobs, and industry shifts

  • Environmental: Our external surroundings, including sustainability and our evolving workplaces, cities, and living spaces

  • Political: Public policy, governmental systems, the people within them, and the effects of government decisions on our citizens and communities

Each trend includes a brief trend summary, an endnoted source, and discussion questions to help you analyze and act on the trend.

Published spring 2020.

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The Intersection

Where Do Human Needs and Space Allocation Cross?

As designs for an institution and its spaces are considered, decision makers should seek a balance between offering areas for quiet work that requires intense concentration and for social engagement and the sharing of ideas.

From Volume 47 Number 4 | July–September 2019

Abstract: Using an administrative sustainability framework, we studied the decision process as it relates to space allocation. Those making the decision were academic faculty at a mid-sized urban Canadian university. We present recommendations for decision makers with resource allocation responsibilities.

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“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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