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Curated content on higher education presented by the Society for College and University Planning (SCUP).
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A new analysis of spending by liberal arts colleges | Inside Higher Ed

A study of how money is spent at three different liberal arts colleges.

Inside Higher Ed Story

PDF of the Report

From IHE: "The three (kept anonymous in the study to encourage full release of data) are similar in their size (1,560 to 1,648 enrollments), mission, academic offerings, the breadth of student activities and athletics, and loyal alumni. Students at all three institutions say that they picked them for their personalized approach to education and close contact with faculty members. Students give all three institutions high marks. (Lapovsky consults with colleges on their financial strategies; she said only one of the three colleges is a client.)

But the three institutions are also very different: in what they charge students, in their expectations of faculty, in their support for student activities, and in their admissions competitiveness."

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Swarthmore College Residence Halls, Swarthmore, Pa. - Award Winners, Student Housing - EcoHome Magazine

Swarthmore College Residence Halls, Swarthmore, Pa. - Award Winners, Student Housing - EcoHome Magazine | SCUP Links |
The new campus housing references the past but its modern design looks forward.


Nice list of sustainable products, and there are other campus projects on the website.

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The mission for black colleges and universities continues

The mission for black colleges and universities continues | SCUP Links |

A very nice local piece which travels well across the country:

"What do HBCUs do well? Kimbrough said because those campuses enroll a disproportionate number of low-income students, they are able to cater to them in a way traditional schools cannot, including additional programs such as federally funded TRIO programs and extra attention from faculty and staff where it's needed.

'That's the real heavy lifting in higher education. When you look at the country as a whole, it's becoming more diverse and there are more people of color. We still have this growing gap based on income,' he said.

'We've become the model on how to take students from meager backgrounds and prepare them to be fully functioning citizens and productive citizens.''

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Issues Facing HBCU's: Results of a #SCUP Focused Discussion and Survey

Download and share this new SCUP report with colleagues. Here are links to the three file types the report is now live and available in.

PDF; (everything) | EPUB  (Apple, some Android) | MOBI (Kindle)

At SCUP’s Southern Region’s 2011 conference last fall in San Antonio, a group of leaders from Historically Black Colleges and Universities met and served as a focus group. The conversations of the group were guided by SCUP staffer Phyllis Grummon, and based on a survey that had previously been completed by additional HBCU leaders. SCUP is publishing that document today and suggests that you feel free to share it with others. From the report:

"Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) face a set of issues similar to other higher education institutions in the US. The majority of campuses must address persistent shortfalls in funding that delay needed capital expenditures and hinder the accomplishment of their missions. HBCUs are no different. They face another challenge that is common among them, how to establish and maintain their primary identity as institutions focused on the educational attainment of African-Americans when many campuses are competing for those same students. HBCUs’ secondary identities, ones that fit within the general typology of US institutions, must now be brought to the fore. For example, it would seem that small, private, liberal arts colleges that are also HBCUs, now look to emphasize the benefits of their size, as much as their student enrollment."

Many thanks to SCUP Southern Region's Ken Higa of Lord, Aeck & Sargent Architecture, currently chair of SCUP's Membership Committee, for being the driving force behind this research.

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Hampshire College Investment Policy Favors Socially and Environmentally Responsible Companies | Inside Higher Ed

If you are planning long term, sustainability makes sense. 

"But many who are advocating for an increased focus on socially responsible investing say that practices that focus solely on financial returns don’t necessarily guarantee higher returns in the long run. During the 2008-09 financial crisis, those colleges that were the riskiest with their investments saw the biggest losses.

'A Massey Energy might turn you a profit for a period of time by externalizing the costs of environmental impacts, and short-term investors can trade out of the way before the negative impacts are felt,' said Jon Lukomnik, executive director of the Investor Responsibility Research Center Institute. 'For a long-term investor, that’s practically impossible to do. And if you’re one of those, you probably want to integrate some sustainability analysis into your investing.'"

No comment yet.! A Tale of Three Campuses eBook: Robert Sabbatini, Karen Fiene: Kindle Store A Tale of Three Campuses eBook: Robert Sabbatini, Karen Fiene: Kindle Store | SCUP Links |

A powerful look at decades of campus placemaking and design at Mills College, Stanford University, and the University of California at Berkeley. Current students, alum, faculty, staff, and townies alike will enjoy this big picture look at three beautiful campuses. Lots of images included.

SCUP members inquire:

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Report: Catalyst for Change: The CIC/CLA Consortium

"Catalyst for Change: The CIC/CLA Consortium" is a report from the Council of Independenty Colleges and the Collegiate Learning Assement (CCA) Consortium on their work to develop "a way to measure student learning outcomes that is not overly burdensome to colleges and universities. Catalyst for Change  highlights the efforts of 47 independent colleges and universities to make voluntary use of the CLA and describes the challenges faced and “best practices” learned in using assessment results to improve teaching and learning. It follows an interim report, Evidence of Learning: Applying the Collegiate Learning Assessment to Improve Teaching and Learning in the Liberal Arts College Experience, released in 2008, that was based on the Consortium’s 2004–2008 activities. 2011, 46 pgs." 


The new report: 


The 2008 interim report:






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College News | About the Annapolis Group

College News | About the Annapolis Group | SCUP Links |

The Annapolis Group | | comprises approximately 130 leading national independent liberal arts colleges that have similar interests and concerns centering on the values of liberal arts education that inform their missions. The Annapolis Group provides a forum for member institutions to share best practices, seek higher levels of excellence, and advance the cause of liberal arts education on a national scale. Annapolis Group presidents and chief academic officers meet semi-annually, collaborating with one another and invited participants to:

  • increase their own professional effectiveness by discussing ideas, best practices, and questions of mutual concern;
  • articulate, interrogate, and promote the values of liberal arts education;
  • debate issues of institutional, regional, and national scope; and
  • develop new ways for their institutions — both individually and collectively — to serve the public good.

Through several forms of outreach, the Annapolis Group draws public attention to the educational goals and distinctive strengths of its member institutions and facilitates their participation in national conversations relating to higher education.

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Metropolitan State College of Denver's New Student Success Building

Metropolitan State College of Denver's New Student Success Building | SCUP Links |

The link leads to a slide show.

  • The four-story, 145,000 square-feet Student Success Building opens in 2012. 
  • The building will increase classroom and administration space by 25 percent, an initiative of President Stephen Jordan to improve the classroom environment for faculty.
  • Student funder.
  • One-stop services.
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Cut college tuition by getting 4-year degree in 3 years

Cut college tuition by getting 4-year degree in 3 years | SCUP Links |

Some colleges, mostly small privates, have implemented plans to graduate students in 3 years. Hartwick College is one. Now, Ohio State University has a mandate to phase in 3-year bachelors degree this fall.

"Yet for all its pocketbook appeal, the three-year concept hasn't taken off, particularly at public universities. Legislation in Rhode Island in 2009 and Washington last year encourages public universities to develop three-year options, but no programs have been proposed to date, officials in both states say. State budget challenges have pushed a University of California committee's recommendation to a back burner, says system spokesman Steve Montiel.

At Ohio State University, which must phase in three-year degrees beginning this fall, provost Joe Alutto says a three-year degree may be "misdirected for an institution such as ours." He told legislators last year that students who earned college credit in high school tend to add a minor or second major rather than graduate early."

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Augustana retreat an exercise in collective governance | Inside Higher Ed

Augustana College president Steven C. Bahls raninto a thorny hedge with his first strategic plan, but has since done leading edge work in the area. Kevin Kiley pictures the governance preparation at Augustana as it prepares for another strategic planning process. In the process he examines shared governance issues from a number of perspectives. Definitely worth a read. ipeds143084

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What Do Small Private Colleges & Community Colleges Have in Common?

What Do Small Private Colleges & Community Colleges Have in Common? | SCUP Links |

Paul Fain, writing in Inside Higher Ed, describes Mark Erickson’s move from president of Wittenburg University to president of Northampton Community College. “It’s not such a big jump,” says Richard Ekman, president of the Council of Independent Colleges:

"That's partially because Wittenberg and most of the council’s members are 'refocusing their missions' to adjust to demographic shifts. 'Look who’s going to colleges these days,' Ekman said. 'It’s disproportionately first generation and low-income students.' The 'completion agenda' is also helping spur small private colleges to enroll and graduate a more diverse range of students, Ekman said. As a result, private universities and community colleges share increasingly similar priorities."

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For Small-College Presidents, Advice on Budgets and Bully Pulpits - Administration - The Chronicle of Higher Education

For Small-College Presidents, Advice on Budgets and Bully Pulpits - Administration - The Chronicle of Higher Education | SCUP Links |

"Larger numbers of freshmen are now starting out in community colleges, and public institutions face growing demands to produce more graduates with the use of lower-cost adjunct instructors, said Mr. Ehrenberg, a professor of industrial and labor relations and economics at Cornell University. With more-flexible governance structures, "you have a unique advantage" to capitalize on those trends, he told the presidents.

Colleges with higher numbers of full-time faculty members have higher rates of student persistence, he said, adding: "If I were a CIC president, I would repeatedly emphasize that." And "perceptive leaders" of small private colleges should also see enrollment opportunities in forging ties with community colleges to attract transfer students."

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The Futures Initiative | Smith College

This initiative is thought by some to the most far-ranging self-examination and exploration of futures accomplished by a small, 4-year private college so far. Read more by clicking on the title link, or download this report (PDF).

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Connecticut merges community colleges and four-year system | Inside Higher Ed

Tens of millions in hoped-for savings from system consolidation in Connecticut has come down to $4.3M, still motivation enough for state leaders:

"The state’s budget woes have contributed to the urgency for a new way of doing business at public institutions. Community colleges, the Connecticut State University System and Charter Oak have all felt the pain, absorbing 8 percent state budget cuts this year, with a 12 percent reduction looming for 2012-13, reports The CT Mirror.

Board consolidation is a trendy idea in some states, particularly when budgets are tight. Louisiana is currently discussing whether to merge its various higher education boards, and a Rhode Island lawmaker recently proposed combining K-12 and higher education boards. (Of course, in some states that have had centralized systems, the economic woes have brought the reverse -- campaigns for more independence for institutions, and to break up system boards.)

Also contributing to the push for consolidation in Connecticut, in all likelihood, was a series of publicized missteps by the Connecticut State University System, most notably raises given to system leaders during the recession. The raises were criticized and eventually scaled back, and David Carter, the system’s chancellor, was ousted last year."

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Oberlin, Ohio: Laboratory for a New Way of Life

Oberlin, Ohio: Laboratory for a New Way of Life | SCUP Links |

Not just the campus as a living/learning laboratory, but the city and the region. As the subtitle puts it: "An environmental-studies professor tries to reinvent his town for a future of scarcity."

Of course, writer Scott Carlson of The Chronicle of Higher Education is writing about frequent SCUP contributor David Orr and Oberlin, Ohio.

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Annapolis Group survey finds high satisfaction among liberal arts college graduates | Inside Higher Ed

Here's that "community" thing at work, again, detailed in a report from the Annapolis Group with support for 4-year liberal arts colleges:

"All college and university presidents like to think their institutions are something special, but presidents at the roughly 130 liberal arts colleges represented by the Annapolis Group now have some data to back up their claims and some ammunition with which to engage in the intensifying competition that many face from public universities.

The group compared survey responses of alumni of the Annapolis Group institutions with those of alumni of private universities, the top 50 public universities and a broader group of public flagship universities. The study found that graduates of Annapolis Group institutions tended to be more satisfied with their experiences as undergraduates, and more likely to believe that their educations had a significant impact on their personal and professional development."

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