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Curated content on higher education presented by the Society for College and University Planning (SCUP).
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Rise of Online Booksellers Brings Complaints From Campus Bookstores

Rise of Online Booksellers Brings Complaints From Campus Bookstores | SCUP Links | Scoop.it
Campus bookstores say companies’ aggressive tactics hurt business and violate colleges’ exclusivity contracts.
Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)'s insight:

We wonder, how long such agreements can continue to exist?


"Mr. Rosensweig and Mr. Chesnut asserted that exclusive bookstore contracts don’t serve students’ interests but benefit colleges and universities by generating revenue. The commission Barnes & Noble pays Southern Connecticut State each year varies depending on sales, but the university is guaranteed at least $600,000. On top of that, the company provides $26,000 each year to support textbook scholarships, a lecture series, and a golf classic."

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The End of Amateurism Is Not the End of Competitive College Sports?

The End of Amateurism Is Not the End of Competitive College Sports? | SCUP Links | Scoop.it

"College sports already are imbalanced. And they’re doing just fine.


Actually, college sports aren’t merely imbalanced. They’re practically rigged."

Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)'s insight:

This can stimulate some thought, just as the season begins. We noticed that the title didn't specifically mention football. A lot of forces are converging on college football. Let's say that transformation is on the way. What do you think?

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Content Licensing Creates 'Existential Crisis' for Libraries

Content Licensing Creates 'Existential Crisis' for Libraries | SCUP Links | Scoop.it

Old-fashioned media—books, tapes, CDs, etc.—are governed by the first-sale doctrine, a legal provision that allows a buyer to do whatever she wants with a copy.


The licensing of digital media, however, gives publishers far more power. Instead of selling an album outright, they can sell permission to access its contents for a fixed amount of time. (This is a boon for textbook publishers in particular. Under a digital regime, they may not have to worry about losing sales to students buying used copies.)


The licensing model stands to become the norm as physical media get phased out, says Mr. Hoek. “This isn’t just a music problem,” he says. Anything made of “ones and zeroes” can be kept on a leash.


Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)'s insight:

Even as SCUP takes a deep, hard look at how it licenses its knowledge content, that kind of deep, hard look by publishers is worrying college and university librarians:


As more and more books, videos, and sound recordings are licensed and distributed through online-only means, the amount of materials available for libraries to collect is shrinking.


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The Unanswered Question: How Will We Pay for Aggressive Higher Ed Attainment Goals?

The Unanswered Question: How Will We Pay for Aggressive Higher Ed Attainment Goals? | SCUP Links | Scoop.it

"Certainly there are limitations to the model described, some of which I have identified and others which I'm sure readers will point out. It is currently being modified to eliminate some of its shortcomings.


But as flawed as it may be, it serves to point out several key points. First, different approaches to attaining goals have different cost consequences.


Second, in almost all scenarios, resources required by community colleges outstrip those that will be required by four-year institutions. This is a direct contradiction to priorities typically assigned in the appropriation process. Institutional costs can be reduced under an assumption of marginal costs being less than average costs, but this doesn't change the need to assign priority to funding for those institutions that will have to do the heavy lifting if attainment goals are to be met.


Third, the largest component of costs in both scenarios is student financial aid. The real-world examples reinforce the point made earlier in this paper that concentrated attention to the design of financial-aid programs is perhaps the key element in the development of cost-effective means of reaching aggressive attainment goals.


Finally, it drives home the point that reaching such goals will take substantial additional resources. Ways can be found to mitigate these costs, but success will be impossible without additional state investments."

Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)'s insight:

"Dennis Jones, [a frequent SCUP presenter,] is president of NCHEMS, a nonprofit research-and-development center founded to improve strategic decision making in institutions and agencies of higher education. Jones is widely recognized for his work in such areas as developing public agendas to guide higher-education policymaking; financing, budgeting, and resource allocation; linking higher education with states' workforce and economic-development needs; and developing information to inform policymaking.

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IT and Academics Don't Plan Together Much, New Survey Finds

IT and Academics Don't Plan Together Much, New Survey Finds | SCUP Links | Scoop.it

From the Campus Technology report: "Campus IT is a disjointed effort at most campuses. For example, in more than four out of five colleges and universities, IT professionals report that they do not regularly develop joint plans with academic departments for IT initiatives. These are some of the results that came out of a survey of 152 higher ed IT people in June by MeriTalk, a government-focused Web site."

Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)'s insight:

And: "Nearly six out of 10 don't survey academic or research staff on IT needs; and more than six out of 10 lack a catalog of IT services. Perhaps that's why 57 percent of end users view IT as the 'fix it' folks and just 22 percent say IT is considered a 'trusted ally.'"


The survey itself can be downloaded from this website.

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Higher Ed Performance-based Funding and Completion Metrics

Higher Ed Performance-based Funding and Completion Metrics | SCUP Links | Scoop.it

While some schools are making changes to boost student outcomes, Finney says it is too early to know how institutions will change in the long term in response to performance-based funding. "Strong state-level data systems are necessary to determine changes in performance and to make adjustments accordingly," she says. "States vary in terms of the sophistication of their student unit record systems. This must be carefully aligned with the outcomes they hope that institutions will strive for."


"Any financial policy involves a series of trade-offs," says Tennessee's Deaton. While he and other state education leaders believe the positives of performance-based funding "far outweigh the negatives," he also says "until the model is road tested, you don't know for sure how it will work out."

Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)'s insight:

Performance-based funding and measuring outcomes. A review of the states and a clear exposition of the current status by Nancy Mann Jackson in NACUBO's Business Officer magazine.

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The Business School Building Boom

The Business School Building Boom | SCUP Links | Scoop.it

"There has been a rise in what commentators call the "MBA building boom" - a raft of leading schools are spending millions developing their campuses and opening new buildings. The life of the b-school student is becoming one of luxury.

 
Portland State University's School of Business Administration is planning a $60 million project that will triple its available space on campus. Yale School of Management unveiled a new $243 million campus earlier this month, while Harvard Business School just spent $100 million on a new building for its executive education programs."
Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)'s insight:

We like this:


""In every way, our physical campus and the way Tuck’s faculty and staff interact with students fosters a sense of community and collaboration. It is the place where lifelong relationships are created - perhaps the most lasting legacy of the Tuck experience," she added.

 
With the rise in online and distance learning, it could be a risk developing campuses to such an extent - even if the majority of funding doesn't come from university coffers.
 
Sally Blout, Kellog's Dean, told The Economist earlier this month: "Our industry is about to transform itself. And you have to decide whether you are in or out of face-to-face education.""
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Perspectives on the College Cost Crisis—Two Book Reviews In One

A review of:


Stretching the Higher Education Dollar: How Innovation Can Improve Access, Equity, and Affordability. Edited by Andrew P. Kelly and Kevin Carey. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press, 2013. 272 pages. $60.00 Cloth; $29.95 Paper.


The Checklist for Change: Making American Higher Education a Sustainable Enterprise, by Robert Zemsky. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2013. 240 pages. $27.95 Cloth; $27.95 Web PDF. E-Book version available.

Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)'s insight:

Mary Taylor Huber concludes: "Kelly and Carey's edited collection will appeal more to those who find promise and excitement in the largely off-campus world of new educational entrepreneurs. Zemsky's book, though far from a warm embrace, will be more persuasive to those who love our campuses and would like to see them improved and sustained."

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The Growing Trend of CFOs Prioritizing Energy Reduction Projects

Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)'s insight:

Yes, there is. And the author covers, concisely, a number of the reasons why.

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A different kind of deferred maintenance? Born Digital, Projects Need Attention to Survive

A different kind of deferred maintenance? Born Digital, Projects Need Attention to Survive | SCUP Links | Scoop.it
For one, they may require continuing maintenance to remain useful and accessible.
Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)'s insight:

Build the costs into the planning?

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A New Reality— Higher-education lobbyists keep expectations low for 2014

A New Reality— Higher-education lobbyists keep expectations low for 2014 | SCUP Links | Scoop.it

As legislative sessions begin anew, flat budgets and institutional accountability will dominate the discussion.

Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)'s insight:

Eric Kelderman writes that "a new reality has set in about what [can be expected] from state" budgets.

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'A growing percentage of our colleges and universities are in real financial trouble' | The Hechinger Report

'A growing percentage of our colleges and universities are in real financial trouble' | The Hechinger Report | SCUP Links | Scoop.it

"

Facing skeptical customers, declining enrollment, an antiquated financial model that is hemorrhaging money, and new kinds of low-cost competition, some U.S. universities and colleges may be going the way of the music and journalism industries.


Their predicament has become so bad that financial analysts, regulators and bond-rating agencies are beginning to warn that many colleges and universities could close.


'A growing percentage of our colleges and universities are in real financial trouble,' the financial consulting firm Bain & Company concluded in a report—one-third of them, to be exact, according to Bain, which found that these institutions’ operating costs are rising faster than revenues and investment returns can cover them."

Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)'s insight:

And Robert Zemsky says the faculty are sitting on the sideline: 

We’re on the sideline. And that’s terrible that the faculty, writ large, are on the sideline.”

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Predictive Patterns— 'Don't try using data as a weapon in organizational conflict'

Predictive Patterns— 'Don't try using data as a weapon in organizational conflict' | SCUP Links | Scoop.it

"Regardless of how you define it, big data is transforming the way colleges and universities are being managed—and this trend is just in its infancy. Improving student success, identifying new sources of public support, increasing alumni giving, and reducing energy consumption are but a few of the opportunities waiting to be uncovered by data.


As you proceed, a word of caution: Don't try using data as a weapon in organizational conflict, Carleton's Rogers warns. 'This should be a collaborative effort where we're all working to get information because we care about the results,' he says. 'We have to create an environment where everyone is open to honest introspection and evaluation. The data might be positive—or not—but it's not personal.  It's intended to help the institution.'"

Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)'s insight:

Several useful mini-case studies.

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Higher Ed Consultants' Best Case Scenarios Rarely Reality, Seen as Necessary

"According to the new research, colleges reported saving only 2 percent on average so far. That might increase to 2.2 percent when all is said and done, though, because of cuts the colleges are still making. That's pretty close to the low-end "base case" of savings consultants gave colleges, of 2.6 percent in savings, but a long way from the best-case scenario of 4 percent.while colleges may enjoy working with consultants to diagnose their problems, the consultants’ recommendations end up being fairly similar. ...


'There’s a playbook, so to speak, for this,' he said.


Still, he did not find a college that lost money using a consultant, only colleges that saved much less than the best-case scenario."

Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)'s insight:

And : "[C]olleges in the study felt they needed consultants, and some of the projects they worked on required hundreds if not thousands of people. So they might not have been able to achieve much or any savings without the aid of consultants."

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A Century of Campus Planning: Past, Present, and Future —complimentary download from 'Planning for Higher Education'

A Century of Campus Planning: Past, Present, and Future —complimentary download from 'Planning for Higher Education' | SCUP Links | Scoop.it
  1. This article was previously published in Facilities Manager magazine as part of APPA's 100th anniversary celebration. 
  2. It is shared here [pdf], for those who are not SCUP members, only through Sunday, August 24.
  3. Share your memories of the last 50 years of higher education planning on SCUP's 50th anniversary page.


"For most of its history, higher education in America was an experience that only the elite could enjoy. As a result, throughout the 19th century, higher education institutions became increasingly steeped in tradition and resistant to change. Things stayed about the same until World War II, which forced colleges and universities to face some huge challenges. For example, in 1944 the G.I. Bill enabled more than two million returning veterans to enter the higher education system.


'Higher education became more accessible and was no longer entirely the domain of the elite or the upper echelon,' says Persis C. Rickes, president and principal with Rickes Associates, a higher education planning firm in Attleboro, Massachusetts. 'Instead, it became the golden ticket to achieving the American Dream.' The nation’s higher education system was greatly challenged by this surge of students—in response, many institutions expanded facilities quickly, cheaply, and with minimal planning. ...


Going forward, most experts agree the pace of change will accelerate dramatically. Financial challenges, both capital and operational, will be the key drivers of facility planning in the future.


'Alternatives to the traditional higher education pipeline, such as badges and "unbundling," will lead to a reconceptualization of what it means to obtain a degree,' notes Rickes. 'While the residential collegiate experience will remain viable for some institutions, many others will be challenged to explore ways to reposition themselves in order to remain competitive, doing more with less.'”

Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)'s insight:
MILESTONES IN CAMPUS AND FACILITIES PLANNING

1860s: Morrill Act of 1862 (Land-Grant School Act)

1890s: Columbian Exposition (showed America how beautiful and functional a planned campus can be)

1940s: World War II and the G.I. Bill

1940s–1950s: Colorado and California create space guidelines in an attempt to control and optimize campus space

1950s: Creation of the Western Interstate Commission of Higher Education (WICHE)

1950s: Brown vs. Board of Education eliminated segregated educational institutions

1960s: Richard P. Dober published his landmark book, Campus Planning

1960s: Higher Education Act of 1964 (created more access to higher education)

1970s–present: Widespread use of cars on campus (traffic and parking have enormous impacts on the campus environment)

1990s–present: Widespread adoption of the Internet and distance learning

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Gregory A. Smith's curator insight, August 20, 2014 11:34 AM

This article provides a bird's eye view of factors have impacted college and university planning over the past century.

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Getting a Handle on Performance-Based Funding

Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)'s insight:

Frequent SCUP speaker, Dennis P. Jones, is quoted as saying that “States are getting more sophisticated about what they’re doing and are crafting models that really reinforce institutional mission differentiation, rather than doing the same thing for everybody.” Jones is president of the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, whose October 2013 report, “Outcomes-Based Funding: The Wave of Implementation,” examines such policies. “They’re also putting a bigger share of the allocation into outcomes-based funding.”

This author concisely organizes this brief and informative resource, from AASCU's Public Policy magazine, under the primary heading of "A More Sophisticated Model," with these bullets.


  1. An Active Role for Stakeholders
  2. Differentiate Metrics and Rewards
  3. Make the Money Meaningful
  4. Make the Penalties Reasonable
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In Moody’s U.S. college credit ratings, downgrades far outnumber upgrades

In Moody’s U.S. college credit ratings, downgrades far outnumber upgrades | SCUP Links | Scoop.it

"Moody’s has downgraded three dozen other four-year colleges and universities since July 2013, a sign of continuing financial fragility in higher education.

By contrast, nine of about 500 higher-ed institutions that Moody’s analyzes were given credit rating upgrades in the past year."

Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)'s insight:

The author, Nick Anderson, provides some detail on the major changes up and down.

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Data Matters: Per-Student Spending Stays Flat at Community Colleges - AACC 21st Century Virtual Center

Data Matters: Per-Student Spending Stays Flat at Community Colleges - AACC 21st Century Virtual Center | SCUP Links | Scoop.it
A closer look at full-time equivalent student spending at U.S. community colleges compared with other sectors of higher education.
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Innovative Approaches to Reducing Costs and Enhancing Institutional Effectiveness

Innovative Approaches to Reducing Costs and Enhancing Institutional Effectiveness | SCUP Links | Scoop.it
Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)'s insight:

Today, senior leadership, planners, and institutional researchers are tasked with doing more with fewer financial resources. Utilizing data from the Higher Education Consortia, this session will explore innovative approaches for integrating data systems and institutional research into the planning process in order to improve unit and institutional effectiveness. It will offer best practices and innovative strategies from the consortia’s nearly 200 member institutions on how to align data systems and transform institutional research practices into measurable and actionable cost data that can be benchmarked for facilitating unit and institutional improvement.

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Organic IT, whither

Organic IT, whither | SCUP Links | Scoop.it

"'If I had a crystal ball and could look 10 years down the road, I would say that many small- and medium-sized universities will move their computer centers to the cloud, allowing vendors to perform basic operations, including disaster recovery, security, backup, patches, fixes, and updates,' predicts Roger V. Bruszewski, vice president for finance and administration, Millersville University, Millersville, Pennsylvania. 'The universities will focus attention and resources on providing services to the front-end user.'" 

Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)'s insight:

From Business Officer. Subtitled, Like a healthy root system, your administrative technology can support a flourishing institution, if you prune away inefficient processes and nurture the best use of resources."


If this interests you, you may be interested in Integrated Resource and Budget Planning at Colleges and Universities, the work product of SCUP's Resource and Budget Planning Task Force.

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Trend— Tying college and university presidential compensation to performance measures

Trend— Tying college and university presidential compensation to performance measures | SCUP Links | Scoop.it

It’s not just presidents who are being held to performance measures to get bonuses and raises. Nineteen percent of provosts and 18 percent of chief financial officers at private universities and colleges are, too, Yaffe & Company reports. In Texas, the new incentive pay plan includes vice chancellors.

Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)'s insight:

The landscape of higher ed reveals a trend toward higher ed executive, especially presidential,  bonuses tied to measures of performance such as cost savings, growth in research grants, fundraising, graduation rates and more. This resource examines that trend using, as a case study, John O’Donnell, president of Massachusetts Bay Community College.

  • Patrick Callan of National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education. The process appears to be undertaken “just to justify extravagant salaries, or is way too focused on fundraising. “In other cases, ‘it’s like they put the presidents on trial,’ and every constituency — faculty, donors, students — is invited to weigh in. That’s just a killer. It creates presidents who won’t take risks.’”
  • Dennis P. Jones of  National Center for Higher Education Management (NCHEMS), a frequent SCUP speaker: “It all goes to the idea of putting money behind the goals you’re trying to achieve. If that’s more graduates, let’s pay for graduates. If it’s something else, let’s pay for that.”
  • Stephen Pollack of consulting firm Mercer: “Corporate concepts are just starting to drift into academia, and they have to. Institutions can’t afford not to have competent people in these jobs.”
  • From Community College Daily www.ccdaily.com by Rebecca Trounson/Hechinger Report.
  • Tags: Presidents, Leadership, Resource and Budget Planning, Compensation
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Jeremy Daniel Haubrich's curator insight, January 7, 2014 8:50 PM

I find it kind of troubling that college presidents have there salary partially based on the graduation rates of students. especially since students come and go, but a president can't MAKE them staqy, when someone wants to leave a college they will because it is a descision made by a person, I find this to be important because If I end up going to a college that does this I dont want to be swayed to stay for some other persons salary