Environmental Scanning

Webinar Recordings

5 Questions About the Future of Higher Education

Join Jim Downey, vice president of planning and institutional effectiveness at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, and Nick Santilli, SCUP’s senior director of learning, as they use SCUP’s Fall 2020 Trends for Higher Education report to explore “What If?” questions in a practical format that will allow your team to pinpoint areas for institutional advancement.

5 Ways to Use Environmental Scanning

The practice of environmental scanning is often a first step in the strategic planning process. Typically, planning teams engage in an exhaustive analysis of the internal and external forces acting on the institution to set the planning context. But should scanning the internal and external environment be limited to the early phases of strategic planning?
Planning for Higher Education Journal

A Primer on Environmental Scanning in Higher Education


An Integrated Approach to Scenario Planning

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.
Webinar Recordings

Coffee Chat: Tracking the External Environment

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.
Planning for Higher Education Journal

Developing Scenarios: Linking Environmental Scanning and Strategic Planning

In this article, we discuss a method for developing and writing scenarios for a college or university. We begin by reviewing the general literature on scenarios; we then detail a scenario development project at Arizona State University. This project, conducted in 1988–89, was Arizona State University's first institution-wide, futures-based planning and scenario development effort.
Planning for Higher Education Journal

Enriching Planning Through Industry Analysis

The authors perform an ‘industry analysis’ for higher education, using the five forces model of M.E. Porter.

Get a Week’s Worth of Strategic Planning Done in One Day

In one eight-hour day, six teams came together to perform scanning, analysis, and prioritization activities, all toward one goal: setting “positive, but not delusional” strategic directions that would be the basis of the college’s strategic plan.
Conference Recordings

Keynote | Katherine Newman

As the chief academic officer of the University of Massachusetts system and as a labor market sociologist, Katherine Newman will provide valuable insight on how global changes are affecting the academic, research, and public service mission of higher education.
Planning for Higher Education Journal

Modifying the Strategic Planning Engine

Using the Strategic Planning Engine model resulted in a more objective, replicable, scalable, flexible, and transparent planning process with useful and relevant results.

Preparing for the Post-Pandemic World

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.
Conference Recordings

President’s Panel

In this session, three college and university presidents from the United States, Canada, and Europe will reflect on how we can transform and reimagine higher education for the future.
Example Plans

Strategic Plan 2017–2021

A highlight of this strategic plan is the detailed, sourced documentation for the college’s environmental scan and SWOT.

Strategies for Engaging Faculty in Change

In difficult times, planning and the successful implementation of that planning requires the buy-in and support of a range of stakeholders—particularly the faculty. We interviewed Sandra Patterson-Randles, chancellor emerita and professor of English at Indiana University Southeast, to discuss how to best engage faculty in planning initiatives.
Conference Recordings

The Future Campus

A panel of three institutions and a learning technologist will offer their diverse perspectives on these issues and how they're influencing the physical and virtual campus environment: an unprecedented pandemic; rapidly-accelerating climate change; a mobile technology-enabled society; and critical issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion
Webinar Recordings

Trends that Impact Higher Education Planning

Join Jim Downey, former vice president for planning and institutional effectiveness at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and senior strategy consultant, and Nick Santilli, former provost at John Carroll University and SCUP’s senior director of learning strategy, as they use SCUP’s Fall 2021 Trends for Higher Education report to explore “What If?” questions in a practical format that will allow your team to pinpoint areas for institutional advancement.
Planning for Higher Education Journal

University Strategic Planning and the Foresight/Futures Approach

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.
Planning for Higher Education Journal

Using Scenarios and Simulations to Plan Colleges

Higher education institutions can benefit from constructing and using multiple future scenarios and simulations during strategic planning. One method of scenario planning to create visions of potential futures is presented, with a case study from the College of the Desert.