I was reminiscing about the first concert I attended with a SCUP member from the Mid-Atlantic region. Her first concert was about five years before the launch of the iPhone, while mine was several decades ago. And as you know, the topic of music transcends time and generation.
We talked about a few of our favorite guitarists (mine: James Hetfield, hers: Gary Clark, Jr.) and the power of practice, discipline, and the investment in time it takes to be a real player. She then said something that hit the bullseye. She said, “Right. They practiced on their own and may or may not have mastered the instrument. But think about it. They then chose to join a band, learn with others, and collaborate. Using the experience and talent of each individual to create something together that sounds great.”
She was talking about the power of community. The challenge that people, who all do the same thing but with different roles and responsibilities, need to come together to “join the band.” So I thought, where does the SCUP community come together to “join the band?” While everyday we’re “practicing” in our daily position, we “join the band” at the SCUP Annual Conference.
I’d be lying to you if I didn’t feel this conversation was kismet, as Cleveland is home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (and the location of our closing reception). Serious kismet.
So, where does higher education enter into this conversation? Cleveland is home to higher education institutions that collectively enroll 185,000 degree-seeking students and there is an explosion of tech and business that has led to great partnerships with these schools. Steel producers, aerospace, and information tech firms are all knocking on the doors of higher education institutions in Cleveland for research partnerships, talent, and more. Plus, its culinary scene is exploding, it has the country’s largest performing arts district outside of New York, and, of course, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The 2020 inductees were just announced, so please indulge me as I position the benefits of attending this year’s conference under the umbrella of some of their best known songs:
Depeche Mode, “Policy Of Truth”
You will find 100 workshops from colleagues focused on academic planning, institutional direction planning, resource and budget planning, and campus planning. Insights shared, strategies explored, and truth revealed – you will gain valuable professional development training, learn from experts, and get hands-on experience you can take home and implement immediately.
Notorious B.I.G. “I Got A Story To Tell”
Colleagues, contemporaries, peers or friends – no matter which term you prefer, you will have multiple opportunities to attend sessions pertinent to your work, delivered by colleagues who are leading the way. You will hear from some of higher education’s finest college and professional planners on how they are creating durable change within their institutions. And you will be inspired by some of the nation’s leading voices in integrated planning solutions as our keynote speakers.
Doobie Brothers, “Minute By Minute”
Every day, in every session, you will find professional development and training opportunities, presented by the people you trust in higher education. This year’s customized program will ensure that, in any given time slot, you will find presentations relevant both to your day-to-day responsibilities and the future of higher education planning.
Nine Inch Nails, “Closer”
SCUP 2020 will be defined by people interacting with each other to share ideas, concerns, and perspectives. At every turn, you will connect with one another, share candid feedback and take away actionable ideas. And, from onsite receptions to dinners with colleagues, there are many formal and informal opportunities to get closer to your community.
Whitney Houston, “One Moment In Time”
SCUP 2020 will feature an app that will make the best use of your time. You will have the ability to store complete profiles of all the attendees and exhibitors, schedule appointments, track your agenda, and organize your schedule, make appointments, build your show agenda and keep track of your events.
T. Rex, “Bang A Gong”
Our closing ceremony will be held at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Thank you for the indulgence. And I think you’d agree it’s time to join the band with us in Cleveland.
P.S. Can you believe I made my way through this entire post without mentioning Metallica? Well, kind of…