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Planning for Higher Education Journal

Published
May 25, 2022

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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Planning for Higher Education Journal

Published
April 26, 2022

The Future of Planning is . . .

. . . Aligned, Integrated, and Collaborative Institutional Effectiveness

IE professionals are both translators and integrators—and universities need these people who know how to interpret the data. Within the context of an IIE office, they assist in developing data-informed strategic plans, financial forecasts, enrollment plans, and other assessments of institutional efficacy.

From Volume 50 Number 3 | April–June 2022

Abstract: The institutions that will thrive in the future will be those that use high-quality, relevant mission-driven data as part of their strategic, integrated planning process. Because of this it is imperative to create integrated institutional effectiveness (IIE) offices that serve as the connective tissue among all units within a college or university. The data and expertise of institutional effectiveness can be leveraged to benefit the institution as a whole. In this article, we discuss the value of creating an IIE office and challenges associated with a centralized infrastructure.

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Planning for Higher Education Journal

Published
November 15, 2021

Book Review: Big Data on Campus

Data Analytics and Decision Making in Higher Education

From Volume 50 Number 1 | October–December 2021

Abstract: Edited by Karen L. Webber and Henry Y. Zheng
Johns Hopkins University Press: Baltimore: 2020
324 pages
ISBN: 978-1-4214-3903-7

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Planning for Higher Education Journal

Published
June 14, 2021

Good Academic Planning Is What Happens . . .

. . . When Opportunity Meets with Integration

From Volume 49 Number 3 | April–June 2021

Abstract: The division of Academic Affairs at the University of West Georgia became involved with the Society for College and University Planning and integrated planning over four years ago. The result was slowly integrating academic planning with facilities, accreditation, budget, student affairs, and student success. Just as Thomas Edison was probably not thinking about integrated planning when he was quoted on planning, we had no idea how fruitful our efforts would become. We enhanced and assessed student scheduling, learning spaces, faculty support, and student success and support services in a meaningful way that resulted in positive and measurable outcomes for improving learning and reducing costs.

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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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Planning for Higher Education Journal

Published
April 1, 2017

Integrating Board, System, and University Planning and Performance During a Period of Rapidly Declining State Funding Commitment

Even in the most difficult financial times, integrating planning and budgeting throughout the organization creates opportunities for success.

From Volume 45 Number 3 | April–June 2017

Abstract: In 2009 the Arizona University System (supporting over 130,000 enrollments) through its Board of Regents directed its board president and the presidents of Arizona State University, University of Arizona, and Northern Arizona University to create an operational plan that reflected the board’s vision, goals, and strategic directions. A primary objective was to transform the system (or enterprise) vision into concrete goals and outcomes that would directly connect to financial decision making at the system and university level. The backdrop for higher education planning and budgeting expectations included the continuation of severe reductions in state funding, rapidly increasing student tuition and fees, and a call for greater accountability. The planning processes were characterized by the integration of board and presidential discussions, inclusion of constituent debate, identification of strategic choices, and approval of outcomes focused on measuring performance. The integration ran across and within three organizations or levels that included the Arizona Board of Regents, its system administration, and the three universities.

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Planning for Higher Education Journal

Published
April 1, 2017

Juggling Chainsaws

Managing the Tensions between Strategic Planning and Decentralized Budgeting

The numerous benefits of these processes can be realized only when the institution recognizes and plans for the different, sometimes conflicting perspectives they bring to high-stakes discussions.

From Volume 45 Number 3 | April–June 2017

Abstract: The advantages of thoughtful, well-structured strategic planning and decentralized budgeting are numerous. But they bring different and sometimes conflicting perspectives to high-stakes discussions within the institution. By recognizing and preparing for these tensions, the odds increase that their potential benefits will not be eroded or eclipsed by distractions or destructive forces and they can work in harmony to help an institution accomplish its goals in an increasingly challenging environment. The author considers specific tensions and conflicts and draws on the experience of a flagship public university to suggest ways to manage these tensions and reap the benefits of both approaches.

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Planning for Higher Education Journal

Published
April 1, 2017

No-Brainer or Brain-Twister?

Linking Planning and Budgeting

While there is no one right way to link planning and budgeting, there is good practice: what works to influence behavior in the direction of institutional goals, supported by strong leadership.

From Volume 45 Number 3 | April–June 2017

Abstract: This article presents a range of approaches for linking budgeting to planning. After briefly discussing the natures of planning and budgeting, it presents four conceptual categories of ways to link the two. The article defines these as structural, adaptive-incremental, devolved, and holistic/advanced. No one approach will be correct for all institutions. Even where there is a system in place to link planning and budgeting, this is unlikely to be enough unless there is firm, skilled, aligned, and distributed leadership to keep the system on track toward institutional goals.

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Planning for Higher Education Journal

Published
January 1, 2017

Singapore and Mexico Are Inventing the 21st-Century Campus

At leading universities in Mexico and Singapore, bold shifts in pedagogy and planning are reimagining the very core of the college experience.

From Volume 45 Number 2 | January–March 2017

Abstract: In times of rapid economic and technological change, how can schools continue to provide relevant educations? At leading universities in Mexico and Singapore, bold shifts in pedagogy and planning are reimagining the very core of the college experience. Their approach is simple but revolutionary—emphasize learning techniques more than industry-specific knowledge; celebrate spaces and curricula that bring people together to accomplish shared goals; and cultivate opportunities for students to positively impact their community. Through inventing the 21st-century campus, these universities are creating students who are curious, well-rounded, and ready for tomorrow—where the only certainty is change.

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