Integrated planning (noun): a sustainable approach to planning that builds relationships, aligns the organization, and emphasizes preparedness for change.
Integrated planning is a long-standing practice, but executing well comes with an array of challenges. Why? The very nature of college and university strategy and operations creates silos of activity. Therefore, when integrated planning is practiced, it is often an exercise that is based on the needs of each unit, department, and even each individual, as opposed to the institution as a whole.
Through the dedication of those in the planning field, this philosophy is changing. And it is up to our SCUP community to embrace and champion this continued shift.
How? It begins with engagement. By bringing together all areas of campus planning: academic affairs, student affairs, business and finance, campus planning, IT, communications, development, etc. By involving all stakeholders—administrators, faculty, students, staff, alumni, and external partners—to work in unison toward a common vision. And by aligning higher education plans with mission, and aligning disciplines across the school.
Our responsibility as a planning community is to be champions for integrated planning. We are the advocates for its extraordinary benefits for present alignment and future expectations in a way that is both innovative and sustainable. When everyone on campus understands the combined mission, everyone can move in concert.
This does more than create additional importance for the planning community; it creates added responsibility and accountability. No longer is it merely about bricks and mortar or even gowns and mortarboards; it is about crafting a culture focused on progress and purpose.
In the coming months, you’ll see SCUP’s focus shift accordingly. We will arm you with the tools, the knowledge, the dialogue, and the resources to become truly integrated in your planning, in your processes, and in your actions. And more importantly, we will make it easier for you to advocate for integrated planning as we share its benefits, outcomes, and successes across the higher education landscape.
We look forward to this integrated future. Together.